MFR Rating: ★
Haywire is a nothing film. The one star rating might make it look like I hated this movie but to be honest the whole ordeal is so unremarkably bland and uninvented that I struggle to even conjure hatred. That’s how bad it is. It’s so bad I’m angry I couldn’t feel more anger towards it.Following on from Contagion, Steven Soderbergh serves up more underwhelming, emotionless drivel. I heard an interview with him not long ago saying he was planning to quit the film industry. On the evidence of his last couple film I’ll gladly help him pack up his camera. Haywire is an action thriller with a woman as the action hero. You can imagine the script writers feeling really proud of this gender reversal, something that is hardly novel, nor should it be but the film smugly decides it doesn’t need to do anything else. So it doesn’t. It sits back, drinks a frappuccino and considers it’s got the job done.
Starring Gina Carano as the aforementioned action hero, the plot is really dire, lacks coherence and does everything it possibly can to prevent the audience feeling invested. But hey, it’s starring a woman! And she can beat up men! Yeah! Equal opportunities! Honestly that’s as far as any character development goes. It is absolutely devoid of character, preferring plot, plot and more plot over anything mildly emotive. It’s an incredibly cold movie. Utterly empty of humour (even unintentionally) or people with any personality traits. Instead you’re treated to blank canvassess and plot with so little emotional attachment it does nothing to stop you switching off. And you know what else? What really damns this movie? Even Michael Fassbender cannot save it. Ouch.
OK, so I still haven’t actually said what the plot actually contains. Mallory (Gina Carano) is hired out to various government agencies to go on missions governments would rather know little about. She has a mission in Barcelona, she has a mission in Dublin, she finds out she’s been double crossed. It’s all very badly explained and does nothing to keep up your interest. Oh and Ewan McGregor is in it. Ewan McGregor doesn’t do anything. Boring, snooze, blah.
It’s visually rather amateur and the score is dire. Whenever there’s a “big moment” it’s emphasizes through sounds that resemble elevator music. It’s like they downloaded some cheesy, default movie sounds off an old CD-ROM and decided to splice them into their movie. Like everything in this movie, it comes across as extremely lazy and doesn’t work at all.
The best thing about Haywire is that it’s short. But unfortunately there’s still 90 minutes to sit through and what a chore that feels. It’s a typical b-movie film with an a-movie cast. The DVD shelf beckons.
Haywire is out on 18th January in the UK. Running time 93 mins. Certificate 15 (UK).
Comments and feedback are always welcome or just give the film a rating by using the stars at the top.
Review by David Rank (and the wonderful fact-checkers over at FMUK)