DVD Review: Haywire
A few weeks ago I posted a list of Female Avengers that could have helped Black Widow kick ass. Well, I have found another - Mallory Kane (Gina Carano) from Steven Soderbergh's Haywire. The movie itself is impressively complicated, but here's the gist. Kane and Aaron (Channing Tatum) work for Kenneth (Ewan McGregor) who runs a private mercenary company that contracts for governments. Their new assignment in Barcelona is to rescue a kidnapped man, Jiang, and bring him to Dublin. That's about the most straightforward explanation. Beyond that it's a series of switchbacks, double crosses and back stabbings that brings us to the beginning of the movie. How Mallory got to that point is told to her hostage (and the audience) as she tries to escape all of the things she's done.
Reading about this movie - I couldn't figure out why I hadn't heard of Gina Carano before. It turns out she's a mixed martial arts star. This is pretty obvious during some of the incredibly bad-ass fight scenes - particularly with Michael Fassbender. Soderbergh even went in an altered her voice to get the complete character he envisioned. And it works great. The rest of the supporting cast is also terrific - you can't figure out who is good and who's bad; Soderbergh chose really well with his cast. All of them at some point have played both good and bad characters - Michael Douglas for the CIA, Antonio Bandares as his Spanish counterpart, and Bill Paxton as Mallory's father. At any moment they could switch sides. So when they do switch sides and many of them do, you're not surprised, but still disappointed in them for being something other than you wanted.
There are moments when the story does get more complicated than you can follow if you're not paying attention, but it's such a great movie, you won't mind watching it 3-4 more times. Carano totally carries the film - she didn't even need the high powered supporting cast she got, but the whole thing comes together as a pretty amazing flick.