Thursday, January 19, 2012

Haywire - Movie Review

Haywire promises an intense and action-packed thrill ride with a roster of acting heavyweights, a director with several critically acclaimed movies under his belt, and a potential new action star in Gina Carano who is also an MMA fighter. What this movie delivers is an experience that will surprise you in ways you would never have expected.

Mallory (Carano) is a member of a private contract team employed by the government to handle special ops style missions and her boss Kenneth (Ewan McGregor) has a mission for her that he promises will be one last assignment before she branches out on her own.

Tasked with rescuing a hostage, Mallory and her team complete the mission which turns out to be the first step in a larger scheme of betrayal that is meant to remove her from the picture permanently. Fighting her way through double agents and former co-workers, she finds herself on a path of revenge that will ultimately lead back to the man who is both her boss and ex lover.

Going in, I had relatively high hopes for this movie even though it was being released during the month of January which is typically a dumping ground for bad movies. What I wasn't expecting was a movie that was so poorly crafted that I began wondering how a director of Steven Soderbergh's reputation could have had anything to do with it.

Imagine a list of actors including Michael Fassbender, Michael Douglas, Bill Paxton, and Antonio Banderas all giving performances that are far below anything they have shown before. I'm not sure whether the actors themselves are as much to blame as the incredibly bad dialog written for them, although they did nothing at all to elevate the inferior material they were given to work with. This is a prime example of an entire cast just mailing it in and collecting a paycheck.

To top things off, the fight choreography in what is supposed to be a high powered action movie is about as basic and bland as I have ever seen in a major feature. You could almost see the actors counting off the steps and movements during each of the fights and the audience was laughing more than anything else during scenes of hand to hand combat that were supposed to be more thrilling than comical.

I feel bad for Gina Carano that this is her first attempt at a major starring role as I doubt she will be able to recover from such a lackluster product. I would have hoped that a highly respected director and a quality supporting cast would have brought her up a notch or two, but this former American Gladiator's acting barely qualifies for B-movie status.

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