Haywire (2011)

Steven Soderbergh directs Gina Carano, Ewan McGregor and Michael Fassbender in this espionage chase movie that acts as a showcase for MMA female powerhouse Carano.

Let’s get this straight. Gina Carano looks fantastic, utterly convinces when she kicks ass and is adequate at acting. Her debut lead role easily sees her match Arnie’s charisma after he mastered English or Jean Claude Van Damme’s thespian talents. And when she takes a motherfucker down, it is bone crunchingly realistic, excitingly aggressive. Whether big name star or stunt stooge, I could watch her do it for days. Hand men their ass, crush their necks between her stacked thighs, put the hurt on Channings and Ewans. The tense sequences where she narrowly evades closing nets or drives and leaps into danger have the same thrill of a Jason Bourne blockbuster. Only Carano doesn’t need epileptic editing to convince she is at the centre of the action. Somehow this great little thumper of a movie only got her foot far enough into Hollywood’s door to be last billed in franchise-fare like Fast and Furious or Deadpool. A crime. Soderbergh brings playful editing, jazzy camera moves, crisp shot compositions. David Holmes’ score is cool as fuck, and yet sometimes the impending doom laden silences are the best moments on the soundtrack. Plot wise you’ve seen it all before. It has a dynamic cast but does nothing dynamic with them outside of the kills and the pursuit. So the script is basic…I think that’s kinda Soderbergh’s intention. This is boring world of desk bound suits deciding who gets tied off and nondescript military trained automatons switching off their personalities then letting their tradecraft take over. I love Tarantino dialogue and James Bond excess… but not every action film needs that. Soderbergh plays with the form, Carano delivers the goods. Haywire is one of the most glamorous direct to video B movies ever made and Carano just simply deserves another shot at stardom. Whether the cold, stark, beautiful black ops world of Mallory Kane is revived or she gets a new franchise starter that holds us into a killer lock this time.

7

My Top 10 Action Movies With a Female Lead

  1. Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003)
  2. Aliens (1986)
  3. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
  4. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
  5. Ghost in the Shell (2017)
  6. Kill Bill Vol. 2 (2004)
  7. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
  8. Run Lola Run (1998)

9. Battle Royale (2000)
10. The Quick and the Dead (1995)

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