The Movie Waffler New Release Review - Haywire | The Movie Waffler

New Release Review - Haywire

Directed by: Steven Soderbergh
Starring: Gina Carano, Michael Angarano, Ewan McGregor, Michael Douglas, Michael Fassbender, Channing Tatum, Antonio Banderas, Bill Paxton

Some movies are so insultingly bad that you actually leave the cinema with a headache from trying to figure out how something so awful could ever have been greenlit.
It seems to have become an annual staple to release a terrible movie about a rogue female agent, last year we had "Hanna", the year before "Salt". When I tell you that this is worse than either of it's contemporaries you'll know just how bad it is.
Think of a Bollywood movie without the musical numbers and you've got the essence of "Haywire". We have a hot female protagonist who free-runs her way from one blandly executed set-piece to the next with no regard for story, plot or logic. Despite the movie taking place over a mere ten days, during which she is constantly on the run, Carano manages to sport about six different hairstyles and always seems to have her eye-liner applied in a way that says "I'm sultry but dangerous". Carano is an MMA fighter and it tells, she looks great when running and fighting but her acting chops leave a lot to be desired, all rolling eyes and ruffled forehead.
I wondered how Soderbergh could get this made so quickly after "Contagion" but when you see it you'll understand. Very little love has gone into the filming of this, the action scenes are as bland as you'll see. I always criticise the Bay/Scott/Ritchie school of "let's cut so quickly the audience can't see what the hell is happening" action, but this is the other end of the spectrum, completely devoid of energy. He chose to double as cinematographer here and shoots everything in a DePalma-esque soft-focus style. You can pull that off when shooting on film but when using video, as he does here, everything just looks far too soft, like it's being shot through a wet tissue. They say that the 4K format is equal to film but I've yet to see anything shot on it that doesn't look like a porno.
David Holmes score is horribly misjudged, as if he thought he was scoring a pastiche of sixties spy movies rather than the Bourne type thriller Soderbergh seems to have been aiming for. At one point there's a fight in a hotel room which thanks to the music feels like it belongs in a "Pink Panther" movie.
As a native of Dublin I enjoyed the novelty factor of seeing the streets I walk every day utilised in a big-budget movie. A lot of Dubliners will probably want to see it for this reason, otherwise give this one a seriously wide berth.