Movie Review: Haywire (2011)

Posted: June 10, 2012 in Drama


Mallory Kane (Gina Carano) is a contractor for the CIA.  She smuggles a man named Jiang (Anthony Brandon Wong) out of Barcelona.  Mallory moves on to her next assignment.  She teams up with a member of MI5 named Paul (Michael Fassbender) to meet someone named Studer (Mathieu Kassovitz)  When Mallory is coming back from meeting Studer, Paul attacks her, and she kills him.  She calls the head of the unit she’s working for, Kenneth (Ewan McGregor) and Kenneth thinks that Paul is calling and has killed Mallory.  Mallory realizes she has been betrayed, and she wants to find out why.  Why does Kenneth want Mallory dead?  Why does her former partner Aaron (Channing Tatum) trying to bring her in?  Does CIA agent Coblenz (Michael Douglas) try to help Mallory, or is he the person who set her up?  What part does a Spanish agent named Rodrigo play in the conspiracy to kill Mallory?

With a cast including Michael Fassbender, Ewan McGregor, and Michael Douglas, and directed by Steven Soderburgh, this should have been a much better movie.  First of all the rogue CIA agent storyline is totally played out.  The Bourne movies (the first three anyway) did the rogue CIA agent better than anyone else.  Everyone else should stop doing that, but a lot  of movies Hanna, Safe House etc have to do with the training of rogue agents, or rogue agents trying to be brought back in.  The twist that this agent is a woman is not enough to sustain interest in this movie.  Two-thirds of this movie is flashback, and only one-third moves the story forward.  And the why of the movie is far too complicated for the viewer to care.  The rule of thumb in action flicks, is to keep the story simple.  This story is neither simple or interesting. Steven Soderburgh should be ashamed to put his name to this movie, the pacing is leaden. There’s a lot of mixed martial arts action, thanks to Gina Carano, but the action seems too staged, too choreographed.  The acting is wooden, and Carano, the mixed martial arts star is not the worst offender.  Channing Tatum really should consider another line of work, if he is an actor, I’m a high wire acrobat.  Surprisingly, Ewan McGregor, one of my favorite actors, struggles mightily with an American accent, and plays too much of a wimp to be a bad guy. Michael Douglas seems happy to be in ANY movie, and Antonio Banderas’ character is too poorly developed for him to make an impact.
Haywire. Hey, a lousy movie.

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