@themovies/ 'Haywire'

Former Gladiator TV star is better than to be expected in Soderbergh's worldly action take, though the tough girl route is starting to wear thin

BY EMIL TIEDEMANN

The music in this film was done by David Holmes, who also supplied
the music for five other Soderbergh films. Actually, it was supposed to
be six, but after hearing what he had come up for 2006's 'The Good
Soldier,' but Soderbergh rejected it. 
IT'S pretty much its own genre these days. Leading ladies who kick ass, a strain of action cinema that started when Sigourney Weaver scowled, "Get away from her, you bitch!" in James Cameron's Aliens, circa 1986. Okay, so it started seven years prior, with its 1979 predecessor Alien. I just wanted to say that sweet line, so....

Some might say these kick-assinerators were born even earlier than that though (i.e. Pam Grier), but Weaver arguably paved the way, setting the stage for the likes of torch bearer Linda Hamilton, a.k.a. Sarah Connor, in the Terminator films. Over the years we've seen similar representations by everyone from Charlize Theron (AEon Flux) and Angelina Jolie (Tomb Raider) to Kate Beckinsale (Underworld series) and even 13-year-old Chloe Moretz (Kick-Ass). Even as recent as last year we were introduced to alike assassins in Hanna's Saoirse Ronan, Colombiana's Zoe Saldana, and Sucker Punch's Emily Browning.

And now, we've Gina Carano of Haywire, an actual former mixed martial arts fighter (& American Gladiator) who sheds the titles for her red carpet premiere. And to be honest, it kind've shows. Her too-sleak comebacks and one-liners lingered on the tiresome side far too soon into this 93-minute Steven Soderbergh (Erin Brockovich, Traffic) effort. But that was forgivable, considering.

Carano is Mallory Kane here, a black ops super soldier who is after retribution for being betrayed by the very man (Ewan McGregor) who hires her for a comparably simmered mission, posing as the wife of a British agent (the always awesome Michael Fassbender). It gets mildly confusing at times, quickly confirming itself as one of those movies in which you gotta pay attention to! No sidetracking to the bathroom or to get more butter for your overpriced popcorn, or even to check a text message from your BFF. You just might get lost in this fuzzy story.

Intense--and sometimes too clearly-choreographed--scrap scenes help escort you along the way without dosing off, and the David Holmes music--which could almost be right at home in a '60s B&W detective film--refused to mesh appropriately with most of the scenery. No biggie though. Familiar faces, in Channing Tatum, Antonio Banderas, Michael Douglas, and Bill Paxton, also lent reason to stay put. Kinda.

Other than that, this well-received, $23 million production was just okay. Not exactly one I'll remember for years to come. Months, maybe.

2.5 stars outta 5

For Edmonton & area showtimes of Haywire, click here.

Below is the official trailer for Steven Soderbergh's 'Haywire'

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