Critic Consensus: MMA star and first-time actress Gina Carano displays ample action-movie chops in Haywire, a fast-paced thriller with a top-notch cast and outstanding direction from Steven Soderbergh.
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Critic Reviews for Haywire
Steven Soderbergh continues his occasional practice of using actors as found objects in his perfectly enjoyable formula action-thriller Haywire.
Mixed martial-arts star Carano puts major muscle, if minor acting ability, into this enjoyable action flick.
Carano is strong, fast, relentless. She's not much of an actress yet, but Soderbergh hides her weaknesses well...
There's a good deal of pleasure to be had in the clockwork precision of her hand-to-hand combat, which Soderbergh often shoots in profile to showcase her wall-climbing backflips.
Carano is nothing special as an actress - but darned if it matters when she's supported by a killer screenplay, a sharp cast, and Steven Soderbergh's unmistakably sly, mordant direction.
Audience Reviews for Haywire
If you've ever wondered what Mission Impossible or Kill Bill would have been like if made by Soderbergh, now you have the answer. The fight scenes are pretty efficient but the formulaic plot holds no surprises, with irregular pacing and apathetic action scenes.
When a freelance black ops agent is betrayed by her employer she must evade capture by both the police and her erstwhile colleagues whilst tracking down the traitor to exact revenge. The plot to Haywire will never win any awards for originality but Steven Soderbergh's foray into Bourne territory is a nicely taut, no frills exercise in cold war style action that is a million miles from the glitz and bonhomie of the Ocean's franchise. He has clearly been watching the likes of From Russia With Love and Get Carter as the film has a very old school feel, with some bone crunching and brutal fight scenes. The striking but not implausibly beautiful Gina Carano is completely believable in her part as a tough as nails, no-nonsense she-Bond who is a coldly professional hard case who also happens to be a woman. The rest of the quality ensemble cast are also very solid, although I did feel that the unavoidably likeable Ewan McGregor was rather miscast in his part and Tatum appears and disappears again without warning and seemed only to be there as an excuse for some narrative flashbacks. These are relatively minor points though as Haywire is a quality post-Bourne thriller that harks back to Soderbergh's early career as cinematographer to the Coen brothers and is one of his better efforts of late.
Everyone is in this movie. Seriously. It's a fun ride, with enough twists and turns to keep me guessing.
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