Mallory Kane is a freelance operative employed by an unnamed company that delivers services to the US government nobody needs or wants to know about. After a job in Barcelona where she needed to extract a hostage, she gets sent to Dublin for another mission. However, when she discovers the dead body of the hostage she rescued in Barcelona nearby the mansion in Dublin, she realises she’s being set up. As an international manhunt is being set up to catch her, she’s need all her skills and abilities in order to get back to the US, protect her family, find out who set her up and untangle the entire conspiracy.
Haywire is set up by Steven Soderbergh around MMA star Gina Carano who actually hasn’t had any decent acting experience before this movie. As such, Soderbergh did the smart thing and focus on action and fighting scenes, playing out Carano’s strengths while leaving little time for dialogue. To give some credibility to the movie, he then surrounded her with a ton of famous actors including Ewan McGregor, Michael Douglas, Michael Fassbinder, Channing Tatum, Antonio Banderas and more. So did this all work out as hoped? Well… to some extent.
Haywire is filled with some great action scenes that aren’t interrupted by flashy camerawork and the realism in the fighting is truly great. Unfortunately, that’s just about all there is. The story itself is mildly confusing and doesn’t seem to make much sense, and you can wonder why the all-star cast actually took on this job other than to please Soderbergh. If it hadn’t been for the big names on the bill and Soderbergh having the lead, one could wonder if this movie would have ever reached production.
As it stands, Haywire is a reasonable action thriller that lacks a bit of soul to truly grab you and while you can argue that most movies featuring Jason Statham also rely on his fighting skills, there’s one big difference: Statham has more personality than Carano and actually does manage to fill the screen with his presence.
On the technical side the image looks as is intended by Soderbergh which means it’s very natural but a bit soft and lacking detail in certain scenes. The transfer as such is decent, but won’t win any awards nor will ever be seen as demo-worthy. The sound is similar with less Hollywood action and more towards a realistic approach. It’s good as it is but doesn’t impress.