Something with as many ass kickings as “Haywire” couldn’t possibly be called an experimental film, can it?
Steven Soderbergh built one around porn star Sasha Grey, so why not for martial arts fighter Gina Carano?
“Haywire” is a no-frills action movie that measures what can be accomplished in a genre film.
It minimizes on sweeping photography or handheld queasy cam effects and produces a stylized, precise and expertly choreographed film. Its simplicity is compelling just in admiring the craft of it all.
Carano plays Mallory Kane, a secret agent betrayed by her private contractor (Ewan McGregor), but the plot too is stripped to its bare bones to the point that the cryptic details are just filler for “Haywire’s” artsy combat set pieces.
Soderbergh gives us full-bodied fights that lovingly make use of space, his rapid editing still delineating clear angles as though he were photographing Carano in the octagon.
The gorgeous Carano makes for an unusual movie star with how at home she is during the film’s many battles.
She’s the key in a film uninterested with her striking sexuality. But Carano demands presence, and although she could serve as a better feminist icon than Fincher’s Lisbeth Salander, Carano is too tough and impressive for anyone to really notice or care.
3 ½ stars