(When I went) Haywire: A Review

I would not have seen Steven Soderbergh’s latest film, Haywire, if it hadn’t been for the review I happened to catch on NPR. The review made the film sound stylish, original and thoughtfully executed (which is not how the trailer portrayed the film with its’ clips of violence and over-the-top music). So I bought a ticket and hoped for the best.

Haywire is a film where the plot explanation occurs in the resolution, that is to say, the bitter end. Without revealing too much, the film centers around Mallory (Gina Carano), a former marine/black ops agent who now works for a government security contractor. After successfully completing a job freeing a Chinese journalist (with the help of several other agents including Aaron, played by Channing Tatum), she is betrayed by someone in her own agency and is forced to go rogue to save her life. With no one to turn to except for her trustworthy father (Bill Paxton), Mallory takes the law into her own hands to find out why she is being hunted and to expose the truth.

Haywire lacks substance, especially when it comes to plot and character development. The cast (which also includes acting heavyweights Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas, Ewan McGregor and Michael Fassbender) seem under-utilized as a result of the weak script, and the convoluted plot plays second fiddle to the lengthy fight scenes.

On the plus side, I did find Haywire surprisingly refreshing to watch. The choreography is beautiful and Soderbergh’s ability to showcase Carano’s strengths as a former MMA fighter shine through in every action sequence. David Holmes composed an amazing score that enhances the film perfectly, and Soderbergh’s choice to cut out the music completely during the fight scenes brings a sense of realism to the brutality. It was also nice to see the action in focus rather than through blurry quick cuts that are currently in vogue.

Overall, I can’t say that I would recommend Haywire. I didn’t walk away with a feeling of having seen something of value, or that I had at the very least been entertained. I don’t regret seeing the film, but I will probably never see it again.



4 Responses to “(When I went) Haywire: A Review”
  1. filmshouter says:

    I know what you mean when you say reviews are raving about this film. I do not quite understand it. I went to see it in the cinema as I loved Soderbergh’s last film, Contagion, and reviews had scored Haywire 4 stars. I was VERY disappointed. I have just posted (a rather more scathing) review today so was checking out what other people had thought of the film. I would be interested to know what you thought of my views!

    • psychcine says:

      I look forward to reading your thoughts! I haven’t seeen Contagion, but have to agree that Haywire is a departure from Soderbergh’s typical work. Thanks for reading : )

  2. I felt the same way about Haywire – brilliant fight scenes but the mad plot was too complex and so confusing. Great review!

    • psychcine says:

      Thanks! I think what bothered me the most about the plot was that it was impossible for the audience to systematically figure out what was happening throughout the film to solve the puzzle, instead the resolution just gets thrown to us in the end. Pretty sloppy if you ask me.

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