Identity Crisis: Haywire is a run of the mill martial arts fest | Film | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Coverage for Central Oregon, by Central Oregonians.
100% Local. No Paywalls.

Every day, the Source publishes a mix of locally reported stories on our website, keeping you up to date on developments in news, food, music and the arts. We’re committed to covering this city where we live, this city that we love, and we hear regularly from readers who appreciate our ability to put breaking news in context.

The Source has been a free publication for its 22 years. It has been free as a print version and continued that way when we began to publish online, on social media and through our newsletters.

But, as most of our readers know, times are different for local journalism. Tech giants are hoovering up small businesses and small-business advertising—which has been the staple for locally owned media. Without these resources, journalism struggles to bring coverage of community news, arts and entertainment that social media cannot deliver.

Please consider becoming a supporter of locally owned journalism through our Source Insider program. Learn more about our program’s benefits by clicking through today.

Support Us Here

Screen » Film

Identity Crisis: Haywire is a run of the mill martial arts fest

Actors Antonio Banderas, Gina Carano, and Michael Douglas star in the action-packed film, Haywire.

by

comment

I have a few problems with this movie. First off, when you call something haywire, the audience really shouldn't wait the entire movie to find out that nobody goes haywire. I mean if a director called a movie "Boycott" or "Slaughter," we would expect to see one of those things happen onscreen. That's not the case with Haywire, director Steven Soderbergh's latest foray into action/espionage.

I'm a fan of Soderbergh. I liked Ocean's 11(12 and 13) and I like that he has the guts to make a major epic like Che, as well as low-budget art movies such as The Girlfriend Experience, Bubble and the overlooked Kafka. He always seems to challenge genre stereotypes and puts his intellectual stamp on his subjects, but not here. Sure, there's a snazzy jazz soundtrack and exotic locales, but no real shocks. Haywire is a mediocre flick that feels contrived and cliché. The best thing about the movie is the camera work, which stuns.


Martial arts mistress Gina Carano shows promise in her acting debut as a rogue spy and victim of an elaborate double cross. But Soderbergh's attempt at the Bourne Identity with a female lead is nothing special. She runs, she fights, she shoots, she kicks. There are three fight scenes designed to showcase Carano's fighting acumen. The first slugfest comes out of nowhere and is kind of Van Damme-ish with boyfriend Channing Tatum as the punching bag. The second (and best) features Michael Fassbender (Inglorious Bastards, X-Men) and features high-energy punching and weapon work. However, the final rock 'em sock 'em with Ewan McGregor is laughable. These actors obviously did their own stunts. So we can't expect much from McGregor, but he punches like a wimp.

Soderbergh's highly acclaimed Traffic won him an Oscar for best director and left an indelible mark on cinematic history, yet Haywire doesn't feel clever or willing to take chances; it's lazy.

The other actors are reduced to cameo appearances and ought to be referred to as they appear on screen: Antonio "Beardy" Banderas, Michael "Old Wrinkle Puss" Douglas, Channing "Thick Neck" Tatum; you get the picture.

While I look forward to seeing Carano again, in the end, Haywire lands somewhere between mainstream film and straight to video. It seems he's done this movie before and much better with mainstream features like Out of Sight and The Limey.

Soderbergh keeps announcing his retirement from films, maybe it's time he follows through.

Haywire

2 Stars

Staring Gina Carano, Ewan McGregor,
Michael Fassbender Antonio Banderas, Channing Tatum, Michael Douglas

Directed by Steven Soderbergh

Rated R


Add a comment

More by Morgan P Salvo

Latest in Film