Carano, you have arrived!
Swift shot: From the jump, let me just say I am not a Soderbergh fan, I didn’t care for Ocean’s Eleven; I am not big into the heist movies, they are always rife with double-crosses and become pretentious parodies of anything worthwhile in my earnest opinion. But, regardless of that disclaimer, I actually liked Haywire despite its obvious attempts to stylize itself as one of those predictably unpredictable heist movies. Haywire had one element that I couldn’t resist . . . Gina Carano. She made Darth Vader’s choke hold look like a stilted pantomime. In one brutally sexy scene, she dispatches a bad guy between her legs! Wonder what that guy’s last thoughts were . . . The rest of the movie was just filler at that point, getting her from one kill to the next, so even though the journey was tedious at times, I did enjoy the payoff at the end.
I was happy to see that Channing Tatum finally took my advice and got himself some acting lessons. They paid off. But with the award-winning supporting cast of Antonio Banderas, Ewan McGregor, Michael Douglas and even a few small scenes with Bill Paxton, newcomer Gina Carano was tough-as-nails on scene and somehow didn’t come off as a fighter who plays at acting, or an actor who plays at fighting, she came across as a lethal fucking weapon, in every sense of that phrase.
[Swift aside: I blew an opportunity to interview her in South Beach, and all I can say is I hope she doesn't bear any grudges, because the thought of Gina Carano gunning for me, quite frankly, terrifies me. Again though, depending on how she dispatched me, there are worse ways to die, I suppose.]
Because this movie was stylized as a heist film, with the requisite double-crosses and a pseudo 70′s soundtrack, I can’t give away too much about the story. Point of fact, there wasn’t much story to be told, there was a whole hell of a lot of walking and foot-chases to sate Jason Bourne fans. They won’t be disappointed. I did hear one person in my row say, “What the hell, they are just showing her walking . . . and there’s no music.” I hope Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy doesn’t translate into more of these ‘extended transition moments’ in cinema.
Haywire starts out with Marine veteran, Mallory Kane (Carano) meeting someone in an upstate New York diner. Then things quickly go, wait for it, haywire! (I love when the title of the film fits so perfectly into a review). Mallory is a sub-contractor for a government agency that handles things the employers might not like traced back to their government. She manages to escape the diner and sorta carjacks a young college kid, Scott (Michael Angarano) who, let’s face it, aint exactly trying to get away from her. To me, Carano looks like a cross between Jolie and Spears, but she can literally hand you your ass!! (Hey, I wanted to give you something special, so, here is your ass). Accordingly, Scott buckles up and listens to her spill her guts about why she is on the run.
It isn’t clear if she is normally an assassin, a body guard, a goon, or what, we just know that on this particular job, she has been hired to retrieve a hostage in Barcelona, or to go along with the heist theme, the hostage, Jiang (Anthony Brandon Wong) becomes the sought after ‘package’. Her team manages to retrieve the package, but other folks have different plans for that package, and she is caught in the middle. Can she trust her employer, and lover, Kenneth (McGregor), the government agent (Michael Douglas) or her new MI6 contact, Paul (Magneto…I mean Michael Fassbender)? Hell, can she trust anyone? She soon finds out that the only person she can really trust is her dad, a Retired Marine Colonel (Semper Fi) who is a successful writer of his exploits overseas. Paxton didn’t have his a-game in this one, but he didn’t suck either.
I recommend checking this Soderbergh film out, but not because of anything he did, other than get an incredible performance out of a neophyte actress who is sure to be all over the freakin’ place soon! He just launched her career, she will be the most sought after ass kicking beauty this decade . . . mark my words! She did this one thing in the film where she kept kind of biting her lip, and I don’t know if that was scripted, directed, but whoever came up with that little tick . . . keep it! Hell, Gina, take some friendly advice, make that your “thing” – Arnold had “I’ll be back.” You can do that lip biting thing in all of your movies and you will have at least one fan for life. Oh, I also wanted to add she walked around with an umbrella which reminded me of Mrs. Peel from The Avengers or a lethal Marry Poppins, either way, I heard she is in talks to be the next Wonder Woman, you don’t need the lasso of truth to know I second that!