Friday, June 22, 2012

PCP on DVD - Haywire

Welcome back to CRAPOLA.  Today on PCP I'll be reviewing the Steven Soderbergh action flick Haywire.  Haywire is one of those movies that have a sharp divide between critics and audiences for their opinion of the movie.  If you go to movie review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes's webpage for this film, the critics approval of the film stands at 80%, but the audience approval stands at 40%.  That is a remarkably different viewpoint between the two main classes of audience.  Is it because the professional critics are biased in favor of anything directed by Steven Soderbergh? Is it because the audiences are dumb?  Or is it something else?  Read on for my take on the film.

Haywire - 2012, Rated R.  93 minutes.  Starring Gina Carano, Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas, Michael Fassbender, Bill Paxton, Ewan McGregor, Channing Tatum and Michael Angarano.  My rating:  6 out of 10.

How do you help out an actress making her acting debut?  Simple, you surround her with extremely talented actors.  The film is costarring Oscar winner Michael Douglas, Four Golden Globe nominees in Antonio Banderas, Michael Fassbender, Bill Paxton, & Ewan McGregor, and also starring Channing Tatum and Michael Angarano.  Gina Carano makes her starring film debut as Mallory Kane, a government black-ops contractor that is on the run.  Carano is best known as a former MMA fighter, and also as the gladiator Crush on the recent American Gladiators reboot. 

Soderbergh is not a director known for making action films.  It shows in this film, as it is not paced like your typical actioner about a betrayed spy.  That doesn't mean that the fight sequences aren't great however.  Whoever did the fight choreography was outstanding in this film, particularly in Carano's fights versus Channing Tatum and Michael Fassbender.  If you enjoy movies with extremely realistic fight sequences, then Haywire is a film for you.  The film is realistic to a fault, with absolutely nothing that comes across as CGI or outside the bounds of normal physics.  For some viewers (my wife for example) this type of film comes across as boring.  With my wife, if she's stuck watching an action flick with me, she at least wants to see spectacle and explosions and crazy over the top action setpieces.  None of those are really present in Haywire, which is why she didn't particularly enjoy the film.  I personally thought the film was only okay. 

As previously mentioned, the fight sequences are outstanding.  Outside of those sequences however is where the film bogs down.  Carano is not exactly the world's best actress although I've definitely seen far worse.  She's helped out a lot by her fellow castmembers but she's definitely dragging down the film in spots.  Since she is a great asskicker however, I would never say that to her face.  I also would still be willing to see more movies with her in it, to see if she can develop into a better actress, and also because she kicks ass so convincingly here.  If the Avengers ever expands to have She-Hulk as part of the cast, then I think Carano would be a natural choice.

Bottom line, if nothing better is on, then go for it with this movie, but if you're not either a fanatical Soderbergh nut or a fanatical MMA nut, you can miss this movie without missing out on much of anything.

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