labe- Haywire (2012) introduces a new kick-ass heroine - Oh So Geeky

Haywire (2012) introduces a new kick-ass heroine

Haywire Movie Review
Photo Credit: Relativity Media
For about twenty-two minutes, I didn't know what Haywire was about. Call me clueless or maybe just not interested, but the Hollywood trend of spy films lacking meaty parts just seemed to add on more to its club. How the film finally cemented itself was that Mallory Kane, a former CIA agent on the run for those who did her wrong, is an ass-kicker.

In Gina Carano's first leading performance, the former MMA fighter beats down some of Hollywood's biggest male stars today: Channing Tatum, Michael Fassbender, Ewan McGregor, and a dozen others. Lacking in an evocative story of an intriguing cat and mouse chase, the film speaks for itself in the action of Carano's primal and tactile physical prowess.

Contrast to other action-related films, a la  Batman Begins or The Bourne Identity, Haywire is not cut up like a Thanksgiving Turkey. The film opens with a diner brawl between Tatum and Carano. Each throw-down afterward grows to be more realistic, raw, and brutal. (Spoiler scene: Gina Carano vs Michael Fassbender might be my favorite.) Director Steven SSoderberghkeeps the camera steady and the audio realistic so that we can actually see and hear the fists connect to faces or knees to ribs.

As the face of the film, it has been argued by fellow reviewers that Carano's performance lacks in emotionality. I'd agree except that usually in films with female assassins, they are defined to swing in two extreme ways: weep at inopportune moments to prove she's vulnerable and rage hormones to be pure eye candy while carrying a weapon.

With Haywire's Kane, the script quite literally doesn't call for either. At Point A she kicks ass and at Point B, she kicks more ass. The film is a vehicle fueling Carano's brawling skills rather than the typical sexual femme fatale we're used to. Emotionally, it's not much for Carano to work with... but at :23 to :28, the hallway look is as deep as it gets. Kane's not looking forward to fighting him, but she's powering up against the odds of her not coming out alive. And, for Carano and Kane, it all fits.

Rating: ★★★

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