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Movie Review: Haywire

 
Prinz Lee image

Prinz Lee wrote this review 4 years and 10 months ago

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It’s a Steven Soderbergh film…of course it’s going to have an abrupt ending! (Sigh) Oh, well, I’m sure half the “geniuses” I screened it with have ZERO idea who the guy is, what’s on his filmmaking resume and much less the art, style and individuality of a director…so they can go haywire all they want! The Prinz thinks this film is dope!  

Am I biased towards Soderbergh? Perhaps! For those who’ve been following me the past couple years know how I feel about the man. Truly one of my top favorite directors, and never straying away from his style of filmmaking, here I am again going gaga over another one of his masterpieces, and this time, baptizing us with not only a new ass-kicking leading lady…she literally IS an ass-kicking leading lady who’s blessing screens on a different angle.

Ladies, here’s another one in your species to hate on! Gina Carano (Female MMA Star) moves from hardcore to Hollywood, and stars as Mallory, a highly trained operative who works for a government security contractor in the dirtiest, grungiest, most dangerous corners of the world. After successfully freeing a Chinese journalist held hostage, she is double crossed and left for dead by someone close to her in her own agency. Suddenly the target of skilled assassins who know her every move, Mallory must find the truth in order to stay alive. Using her black-ops military training, she devises an ingenious - and dangerous - trap. But when things go haywire, Mallory realizes she'll be killed in the blink of an eye unless she finds a way to turn the tables on her ruthless adversary.

One thing off the bat, if you’re one who’s queasy at the sight of violence – especially among women – this is NOT the film for you. That last sentence in no way, shape or form condones violence, period, however, if you’re the type who’s completely the opposite in artistic form and loves embracing movies delivering everything and anything with brute style – this is it!

What makes this gritty piece an awesome film aside from its star-studded cast, is ALL the off-the-wall, in-your-face, love-it-or-not action which ones’ forced to swallow. I’m one who always says “action’s cool, but doesn’t make a film” and it’s true, however, when you have the smoothness of Soderbergh behind the camera, it cannot fail. The script is obviously stripped to every word’s core and so crafty; I actually felt every single page and/or scene was a film within itself.

Pretty much like THE LIMEY (’99), HAYWIRE is a story about sweet revenge, however, the only one being avenged here is Mallory herself, who’s backstabbed by her insecure boss when feeling she’s morphing into someone a wee bit too capable, with possibilities of going solo. It all goes to shambles when he ships her on a mission to Ireland, where, without knowledge an operative there has been given the green light to take her out! This leads to one of many vicious brawls I’ve ever seen in film. (To be honest, a fight which made The Rock and Vin Diesel’s in FAST FIVE look like an after grammar school encounter)

Many have been down on Carano saying this film is off on emotional acting display, so of course this would be up her alley seeing as it’s close to her physical line of interest, and to an extent…ok, perhaps Soderbergh presented a role that may seem “too easy,” but it’s not. The amount of confined space used in films like this, and trying to lump in extreme physicality and attitude isn’t something as easy as a stroll-down-strawberry-field. Quite frankly: I believe Hollywood will be paying more attention to her than the rest of ripened cast in Banderas, Douglas, McGregor, Fassbender and Tatum. While I just mentioned Tatum (Who I believe keeps improving on camera), this guy is ALSO involved in a full blown throw-down with Carano, which was pretty freaking crazy. It’s no secret as the clip’s become one of those film-based-net sensations, but watching it in its entirety on a sliver screen makes it 100x more awesomely intense.

I could go on and on, but that wouldn’t be any fun. Soderbergh’s smarts with this film also comes off with sound mixing, as he has this touch of allowing scenes play out the way they’re supposed to – in natural form – rather than alter it with anything behind it. Many scenes are kept to their purpose of reason as script projects, while allowing other moments work via film’s score. He also never allows this film to outplay itself as cuts through the entire film match up flawlessly. And I’m speaking for myself…as I don’t recall a moment where I felt someone or something didn’t belong.

A - listers to “newbie,” the film presents a balanced level of characters which are totally owned by each actor. Never feeling “Oh, that’s so-and-so,” every cast member became their role. The natural sense of who they are added a lot to how HAYWIRE played off, therefore, making it one of the best ensemble casts I’ve seen linked together. (If asked to pick a favorite…I would say Douglas did an amazing job with his. He kept it simple, subtle, and mysterious due to the fact that one never really knows what team he’s playing for.)

HAYWIRE is nuts, proves Soderbergh can do away with most of his drama-based projects, and opens a film aficionado’s mind to wonder just how far and/or where Soderbergh will/can go post HAYWIRE. It has mystery, build-up, and a lot of heart behind it…it’s viciously delicious and that’s what makes this film enjoyable! I had lots of fun watching it, and still find it playing in my head as I end typing this review.

One more thing: I'd LOVE to see Carano & Jolie go at it!

 

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