Haywire Blu-ray Review
Malory Kane (Gina Carano) is the most lethal black ops gun for hire the government can call on. But when she is betrayed by her own agency, Malory must go on the run. But as an efficient super soldier, Malory will systematically take her vengeance on her enemy and reveal the corruption within her agency in the action thriller HAYWIRE.
With limited acting experience, this is Mixed Martial Arts fighter Gina Carano’s first leading role and she does a fantastic job. Director Steven Soderbergh said he noticed her on television in a MMA fight and thought this woman is not only tough but also beautiful; she needs a film centered around her. I concur with this sentiment and Soderbergh wisely gives her minimum dialogue and utilizes her strengths by focusing on the action and anticipating of action. He also surrounds her with an amazing cast of talented actors for her to face-off against.
Channing Tatum plays a colleague in the same line of work. Ewan McGregor is Malory’s boss. Michael Douglas represents the government that requests Malory for the job. Michael Fassbender is a competing skilled contractor. Antonio Banderas has ties with all the involved parties. Bill Paxton plays Mallory’s father. As you can see there is no shortage of superstars. While all their parts might be small they are imperative to make the film run as smoothly as it does. They all carry a sense of weight to their scenes that make Mallory’s struggle feel that much more important and dangerous. Fassbender, Tatum and McGregor get some brutal fight scenes with Gina that are both exciting and refreshing by seeing a strong woman who is believable in beating up and getting beat up.
After the brilliant TRAFFIC, I made it a point to watch every Steven Soderbergh directed film. OUT OF SIGHT, THE LIMEY, ERIN BROCKOVICH – all phenomenal. Then OCEAN’S ELEVEN came around and Soderbergh was able to perfect the art of fun entertainment utilizing Hollywood’s biggest stars. While not without their problems, I’ve even respected his creative experiments in FULL FRONTAL, SOLARIS and INFORMANT! Last year’s CONTAGION hit a social nerve on how quickly we pass germs and his upcoming MAGIC MIKE follows the life of a male stripper. Granted his films have lost a certain excitement over the past ten years, however all are still talented quality productions. HAYWIRE is on par with his latest endeavors, not pulling the correct emotional chord but still entertaining and earning an appreciative respect toward his effortless style.
With a running time of 93 minutes, HAYWIRE moves at an extremely brisk pace. It plays almost as a silent film as smooth instrumental score runs throughout except during the actual hand to hand combat, where the fists and kicks do all the talking. Be sure to listen attentively when dialogue is spoken as it goes quickly. Soderbergh allows the audience to put things together without outright telling them. This isn’t anything we haven’t seen before or even done better, but it’s a well put together thriller and if you enjoy the genre, you’ll enjoy HAYWIRE.
Video: (1080p 2.40:1) A clean clear picture for HAYWIRE
Audio: (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1) Using an OCEAN’S ELEVEN type score over dialogue and preparations, HAYWIRE’s sound goes eerily quiet during the action scenes focusing on every punch and kick thud that come from battles.
Gina Carano in Training (16:03): This shows a little of Gina Carano’s MMA training and choreography and how her fighting inspired Soderbergh to make HAYWIRE. This is a fun viewing focusing specifically on the fight scenes with Tatum, Fassbender and McGregor.
The Men of Haywire (5:29): Michael Fassbender, Ewan McGregor, Channing Tatum and Antonio Banderas all give short interviews about working on HAYWIRE.