In Theatres: 
Jan 20, 2012

As an MMA fighter, Gina Carano has knocked out her fair share of people and even appeared as Crush on the shortly lived American Gladiators. To put it lightly, this woman can kick some major ass. Haywire marks Carano’s theatrical debut in which she plays a black ops agent tasked with some of the most secretive and deadly assignments.

Unfortunately for her, her last assignment leaves her framed and running from the police and the various organizations that hire her. Now she must find out who wants her dead and for what reason before she ends up in a ditch somewhere. Basically, Haywire attempts to be the female version of the Bourne series. Sadly, it’s nowhere close.

The film begins towards the middle of the entire conflict with operative Mallory Kane (Carano) on the run with some random, scared citizen. She then goes on to explain how she got there, and we get to see how the events unfolded. Turns out it’s not as interesting as it sounds because much of the film unnecessarily drags on. Audiences don’t need to see Carano running for extending periods of time or driving backwards down a snowy embankment. Action films tend to utilize quick cuts, and while Steven Soderbergh gets credit for attempting something different, the film ultimately fails because it simply goes nowhere.

With a cast consisting of Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender, and Michael Douglas, you’d think there would be some decent acting. Sadly that is not the case. Part of it is because the script lacks substance, and part of it is because they’re never given enough screen time. Something that film does manage to do correctly, though, are the fight sequences.

As I said before, Carano can pack quite the punch and Haywire capitalizes on her MMA career. Everyone she meets seems to be on the receiving end of her fist or a chokehold. The fights look very realistic and are intensified by the absence of any music, making each punch or kick or crash into the wall all the more ambient. The fights are great, it’s just a shame there weren’t more of them.

Haywire manages to be exactly that, haywire. It’s erratic and out of control; a jumbled mess. You constantly wonder, “Where is this actually going?” By the time you realize the answer, the film’s practically over. There’s also an annoying, overly dramatic soundtrack constantly playing in the background (aside from the fight scenes, of course). Gina Carano can definitely fight, but this is one matchup she was never destined to win in the first place.

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Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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