January 20, 2012


Uh, Mr. Fassbender, you're not still shooting "Shame"

Grade: B
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Starring: Gina Carano, Ewan McGregor, Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas, Channing Tatum and Michael Fassbender
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hr. 33 min.

As an action-revenge thriller rendered as cool jazz (down to David Holmes' martini-soaked score), Steven Soderbergh’s Haywire is an efficient but exhilarating hoot that simply gets the job done…no muss or fuss. With a taut narrative cast against a stylish but minimalist background, this 93-minute bauble shares similarities with Soderbergh’s The Limey, not surprising since Lem Dobbs wrote both screenplays.

MMA star Gina Carano proves an inspired choice to play Mallory Kane, an ex-Marine and a black ops private contractor globetrotting for payback after being set-up during an overseas mission. Carano is equally credible whether she’s being seductive or kicking butt – the film’s primary action are periodic fight scenes that Carano and Co. stage like brutal ballets. Better still, she gets to hold her own against the likes of Ewan McGregor, Antonio Banderas, Michael Douglas, Channing Tatum and, in an especially well-done sequence, Michael Fassbender.

While the action is often bloody, the emotions remain conspicuously bloodless. Still, Haywire is more about watching Carano and Soderbergh flex their respective muscles.

Neil Morris

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