Haywire: They Left Her No Choice (2011)

Posted: June 6, 2012 in Action, Thriller

After a generally successful adventure in Barcelona in an attempt to recover a kidnapped journalist, Mallory Kane heads home to take a break from her life as a mercenary. Immediately after she gets back to her apartment, Kenneth (her former employee and ex-boyfriend) presents her with a supposedly easy mission. She is sent to Dublin to pose as the wife of another agent in an attempt to uncover intel. Constantly feeling that elements of the mission are off, she separates from Paul during a mansion party and finds the man she previous saved dead in the barn. When she returns to the hotel with Paul, he attacks her but ultimately loses the fight. Mallory immediately goes on the run and realizes that she needs to solve the mystery of the betrayal to clear her name. With an unlikely partner in government agent Coblenz, Mallory tries to reconnect with her father and discover whether she still has any true allies.

Starring: Gina Carano (Mallory Kane), Michael Angarano (Scott), Channing Tatum (Aaron), Michael Douglas (Coblenz), Antonio Banderas (Rodrigo), Ewan McGregor (Kenneth), Michael Fassbender (Paul)

Though not well known yet, Gina Carano may be the next female action star. Carano’s speaking parts are rather short, but her involvement in the action is rather impressive and she is able to maintain a stalwart persona with her focus on the mission. Though not as important to the story, Michael Angarano serves as the unfortunate kid who gets caught up in the mess, having a timidness and fear in his voice and actions. Channing Tatum also is more of a supporting character, having less opportunity to give a memorable performance (even in his death scene). Michael Douglas is a rather interesting choice as an agent, but he does have the confidence to play both sides of the battle between Carano and Ewan McGregor. As the firm’s director, McGregor appears to be innocent, but he shows how his character is manipulated by power and does so with an entertaining calm. Michael Fassbender has the same cool and confidence as his other roles, and plays the role with an almost James Bond-like presence. Antonio Banderas is a somewhat mysterious character, but his shroud of mystery plays well with the story.


Haywire is a story, directed by Steven Soderbergh, that has a deep plot that only gets uncovered slowly through a retelling of the Barcelona and Dublin missions during an escape with Mallory and Scott. She explained the events from the two missions to a civilian in an attempt to have insurance in her quest to clear her name following the deception of the Barcelona mission and the betrayal during teh Dublin mission. Once captured by the police, she realized that she would have her moment to get free once the private military firm continued their pursuit of her. Her years of training and impressive skills allowed her to escape capture in Dublin and reconnect with her father after the car chase with Scott. The reasons why she was betrayed did not reveal themselves until her trap lured Kenneth and his agents to her father’s home.


The film is full of intense and impressive action sequences that have the potential to get Carano more attention for future films. While these scenes were highly entertaining, the structure of the movie was a little underdeveloped. There were a few scenes that were elongated seemingly to fill time more so than add to the experience. In contrast, the action sequences often included more realistic sound effects and lacked music (which added a little to the focus on the activity on camera). Some of the dialogue was actually difficult to piece together and several of the characters (including Carano) engaged in little conversation, making it more difficult to make different emotional connections to their personalities. While the reality of what happened in Barcelona and Dublin was interesting, it was also not surprising enough and was delivered in a way that seemed to lack any intensity. There was also the loose end of Studer (Mathieu Kassovitz), who was involved in the murder of Jiang but was never dispatched prior to Mallory’s pursuit of Rodrigo.

This film is a great exhibition for Carano’s future career, but the story itself was a little weak. The enjoyment from this film is much more related to the action, though the conclusion behind the deception and betrayal was interesting enough to inform the story.

Dan’s Rating: 3.0/5


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