Country: United States
Starring: Gina Carano, Ewan McGregor, Antonio Banderas, Michael Douglas, Michael Fassbender, Channing Tatum, Michael Angarano
Director: Steven Soderbergh
DVD distributor: Alliance Films
I don’t think Haywire was designed as a starring vehicle for MMA superstar Gina Carano. Yes, Carano has serious star power. She’s definitely hot, and unlike 99% of the female action stars out there she has serious ass-kicking bonafides, in that she was a real force in womens’ mixed martial arts for a few years.
But when fighters or wrestlers or someone of that ilk tries to break into movies, it’s never done this way. When John Cena or Stone Cold Steve Austin stars in a movie, it’s directed by some guy who runs cameras at WWE Raw and maybe once did a 1-800-Victim-2 commercial, and it co-stars Treat Williams. If you’re lucky.
But then we get Haywire. Which stars Gina Carano of the MMA. And it’s directed by Steven Soderbergh (Out of Sight, Traffic, Ocean’s Eleven). And it stars Ewan McGregor. And Michael Fassbender. And Antonio Banderas and Michael Douglas and Channing Tatum. You know, people with NAMES. And – even more rarely for a fighter’s starring vehicle – it’s GOOD.
Carano is an operative for some kind of secret, high-level independant contractor that specializes in black ops. She is betrayed by her employers and goes on a prolonged rampage where she kills people and beats up other people. It’s pretty cool, if a little predictable. Nothing we haven’t seen before, but slick.
One thing though. For those of you looking for a super-hot chick who can kick ass, you’re still better off renting Underworld for the ninth time and looking at Kate Beckinsale in tight leather. Because although Gina Carano IS blazingly hot, Soderbergh has purposefully dulled her up through most of the movie. And even at her hottest, she is no Kate Beckinsale. Compared to other MMA fighters, she’s a 25 out of 10. (Cyborg, I’m looking at you.) But compared to Hollywood actresses, she’s middle of the pack. That being said, the fact that she can kick my ass is a huge selling point for me. I love this woman.
All I’m saying is that you shouldn’t seek out Haywire based on the female lead. Carano is great, but the movie stands on its own merits – frenetic, fast-paced action, big stunts, and a whole bunch of silly but fun black-ops intrigue and fistfights. That’s more than enough for me.