Haywire (2011)

Haywire
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Writer: Lem Dobbs
Cast: Gina Carano, Ewan McGregor, Michael Angarano, Channing Tatum, Michael Fassbender, Mathieu Kassovitz, Bill Paxton, Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas

Plot:
Mallory (Gina Carano) works for Kenneth (Ewan McGregor), a private contractor who leases his people to the government for special assignments. But during the last job, something went wrong and suddenly Mallory finds herself on the run. At a small rest stop, her former partner Aaron (Channing Tatum) catches up with her but she kicks his ass and gets away with Scott (Michael Angarano), a rather willing hostage whom she tells her story to.

I really, really enjoyed Haywire – I was actually surprised by how much. It’s an engaging, intelligent and stylish thriller with good fight scenes and a really cool soundtrack.

Stylistically the film reminded me a lot of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – maybe because it also had a lot of brown. And the soundtrack was kind of 70s, too. But where it didn’t work at all for me in TTSS, it worked perfectly here. The film looks cool.

And I really loved how they used the soundtrack, or better how they didn’t use it during the fight scenes. Instead all you get to hear is the punching and the grunting, which makes it really intense. And where they did use the soundtrack, it gave the movie a great atmosphere.

And I loved Mallory – she was a great character. There’s a kick-ass woman done right (opposed to other examples I could think of). She’s competent and hard and knows how to fight, she has her own agency – and yet she’s not entirely removed from her femininity. She gets to look pretty, and she gets to own her sexuality. I want more characters like her.

Unfortunately, while Gina Carano delivers on the action, she doesn’t really deliver on the acting. Her dialogues are wooden and especially compared to the rest of the cast, she really stands out (apart from Channing Tatum, who is equally wooden). But I didn’t really mind. Especially since there are lines like this:

Mallory: That’s your pitch? You want me to be eye-candy?
Kenneth: Trust me, with that guy [referring to Michael Fassbender’s Paul], you’d be the eye.

Summarising: cool.

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