Jan 20, 2012

Haywire Film Review

(image from movieweb.com)

IMDB Plot Summery
A black ops super soldier seeks payback after she is betrayed and set up during a mission.

As Advertised
I’m sure that, by now, everyone knows Steven Soderbergh films are rarely what they are advertised to be. Soderbergh is known for his experimental approach on storytelling that (in my opinion) isn’t always successful in the sense that it appeals to a mass audience. In other words… sometimes his movies are just plain weird.

Entertainment Value
Steven Soderbergh films are always tough to review. I would say that almost none of his films rank high as far as entertainment value. They’re usually always slow to develop, they can be literally very quiet due to limited dialog, and some can just be very tough to follow. In my opinion however, his visual style, combined with his original and sometimes “bizarre” handling of structure and story telling make for a very interesting movie going experience. (note: interesting doesn’t always equal “entertaining”)

All the trailers and TV spots make it seem as though Haywire (a.k.a. Mallory) would basically just be the female Jason Bourne. I think however, the question of whether Mallory or Jason Bourne are essentially the same character is less as important as the question of whether Haywire and the Bourne movies have the same goals…. I don’t think they do. While the Bourne movies are of a man trying to understand who he is, and rely heavily on plot structure, Haywire seems to be Soderbergh interpretation of an action movie… and that’s it. The plot for Haywire is so basic it’s almost irrelevant, and I walked out of the theater with no real understanding of who Mallory is (and I ultimately didn’t really care who she was supposed to be). All that really mattered was how Mallory was going to both get into, and get out of, each one of the (at least) half dozen fight sequences spread out throughout the movie. Each sequence however is so incredibly well choreographed and so unlike anything I have ever seen a female action hero in, that they make the slow lead-ups worth the wait, and ultimately make the film worth watching. (sadly though, a lot of the thrills and what would have been awesome surprises are in the trailers).

The Good
Very well choreographed action sequences.

The Not So Good
Slow to develop, and a lot of what would have been amazing surprises were ruined by the trailer.

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