Good, Bad & Ugly Review: Haywire

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 83% (Critics) / 54% (Audience)
Directed By: Steven Soderbergh
Written By: Lem Dobbs
Starring: Gina Carano, Ewan McGregor, Michael Douglas, Bill Paxton, Channing Tatum and Michael Fassbender
Studio: Relativity Media

Synopsis: A highly trained operative who works for a government security contractor is betrayed by her company during a mission and sets out to exact revenge while looking for the reason for the betrayal.

The Good:
I get why Soderbergh cast MMA starlet Gina Carano as the lead in this film. He wanted a woman who actually looked like she should be doing all of the things that are expected of an action hero and in Carano he got it right. She not only looks credible in the action scenes, she makes beating up grown men look like it is as natural to her as walking.
The action scenes were very well done from the foot chases to the shooting and fighting. In regards to the fight scenes I have to give Soderbergh kudos for the original idea of using realistic fighting as opposed to the usual overly theatrical Hollywood movie version of fighting.
Michael Douglas also stood out as the wily government agent working with Carano’s Mallory Kane. He isn’t in the move a whole lot but he makes the most of those scenes exhibiting a vary casual charm and confidence.
Ewan McGregor plays the weasel very well.

The Bad:
Was Channing Tatum’s jaw wired shut or was his mumbling all of his lines some sort of attempt at adding a quirky trait to his character? Either way it was annoying as hell.

The Ugly:
As perfect as Carano was in the action scenes she was just as bad in scenes that called for her to act. Her line readings were flat and monotone and she looked very uncomfortable just being in a scene that was all dialogue.

Final Verdict: I like the myriad dichotomies in HAYWIRE….it’s an action movie directed by one of the major serious directors in Hollywood; it stars a cast of A-list Hollywood actors with major acting chops (except for Channing Tatum) but the lead part is given to an MMA star in her first acting role (American Gladiators doesn’t count); and it embraces its B-movie heart while wrapping it in an art house outer shell. B

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