It’s not very often that I find an action film to be boring. Those two ideas shouldn’t even go together. It’s an action movie, it’s not hard. Things explode, guns are fired, people get punched. I don’t ask for much. How is it then, that Haywire left me with an empty feeling? Packed full of big name actors, it seemed like a sure thing, but the final product is all fizzle and no bang.
Gina Carano stars as Mallory Kane, a secret operative hired by various governments to do the jobs they don’t want, or aren’t allowed, to do. After rescuing a hostage in Barcelona, Mallory is sent to Dublin where she finds out she’s being framed. Now on the run, Mallory must figure out who is setting her up, try and stay alive, and try to protect her father.
I’m not even sure what the biggest problem is with Haywire. Gina Carano isn’t exactly an actor, which leaves her performance a little flat. She’s not terrible, but she’s not great either. Flat might actually be a way to describe everyone in the movie. Even though the film stars Ewan McGregor, Antonio Banderas, Michael Douglas, Channing Tatum, Bill Paxton, and Michael Fassbender, nobody seems interested in anything that is happening. Deliver lines, throw a few punches, get paid. Besides McGregor and Tatum, nobody gets much screen time anyway, which only makes me wonder even more if they’re there for the money.
The fight scenes fit well with the acting of everyone involved. They’re presented in a ‘here they are’ kind of way, technically interesting, but not very exciting. It may be the lack of a soundtrack, or the fact that many of the fights revolve around the skills Carano has built as an MMA fighter, but they completely lack any punch. I’m not really a fan of the kind of grappling that makes up the typical MMA bout anyway. One person grabs onto another person, holding on for dear life and hoping that the other person taps out or passes out. If you’re a fan of MMA, the action scenes may be a lot more exciting, for me, they just didn’t work.
The story also lacks in this one. Throw in enough explosions and gunfire and you won’t have to worry about a story very much. Haywire wants to deliver an intelligent story, but can’t pull it off. The kind of double crossing espionage that they try to build winds up being about nothing in general. The reason why Mallory is being set up never seemed to be clear to me, so I’m not sure if it didn’t matter, or if I just didn’t get it. I guess they needed a reason for her to fight against every big name in the film. Everything just seems wasted here, like everyone wanted to get in and get out. That’s pretty much how I felt about the entire film. I came, I saw, I’ll forget all about it by tomorrow. Not the highest praise for any film.
Under the marquee -Will