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HAYWIRE

(20 Jan 2012)  Director: Steven Soderbergh

Written by:  Lem Dobbs


I had great hopes that HAYWIRE would be the breakthrough Action Movie
that would bring women out in droves to see a truly physically strong woman in a lead role, and awaken that sleeping-giant market.  It had all the right elements . . . or did it

It had a well-respected Director, big-name male stars (lots), a simple-but-intriguing story line, and, most importantly, the lead character was played by a real-life powerhouse female. Shouldn't that be enough? So what happened? 

From an Action Movie Freak's perspective bad movie happened. The Director was not an Action Director, and it showed.  Plus, there was no Second Unit Director.1  Fight Choreographer J.J. Perry did a great job, but the big-name male stars either were slow in the fight scenes (sorry guys), or were filmed before they were ready. And, the storyline was tortured. The plot was confusing and seemed intentionally obfuscated to ill effect (sorry Lem Dobbs). There were too many characters, and no meat.  By the time I got to the end and realized Mallory was talking about Ewan McGregor's character ("He's 'Kenneth'". What?!), I realized I had already stopped caring after she explained all that stuff in the car to her 'hostage'—they got caught anyway, so what was the point of telling him all that? As a plot device, telling a story while driving in an Action Movie is, well . . . boring. 

Gina Carano kicks Ewan MacGregor's ass in HaywireThe things that make an average movie good are NOT what make an Action Movie good. If you want to make a really good Action Movie, it helps to have people who know and value Action and the importance of its place in the movie.  Maybe this movie was intended to be more Thriller than Action, but if that was the case, it was hurt ($-wise2) by a huge missed opportunity! 

I know my criticism may seem harsh to those who worked so hard on this film, and, no,  I have never tried to do what they did, however, I am an Action Movie Freak and I'd like to think I know what Action Fans are looking for. 

This movie had it all except it just wasn't a good story. It's got to engage you and make you want to root for the hero/heroine. What kept it off the Bad Movie page was Gina's fighting and all the big male stars they put in it. Love Bill Paxton!