Runtime: 93 minutes
What happens when you line up a cast of veteran well-known actors to star in an action flick with a well-renowned female MMA fighter? Apparently, not much. "Haywire" is a film that relies on its inherit celebrity to boost its credibility, with a cast including Channing Tatum (Aaron), Michael Douglas (Alex Coblenz), Antonio Banderas (Rodrigo), and Ewan McGregor (Kenneth). Throw in kick-butt super fighter Gina Carano (Mallory Kane) and you'd think there's no way this film could be a bust. Unfortunately, this wasn't the case.
"Haywire's" plot is a spinoff from that of our well-known female Black Ops Spy "La Femme Nikita." When the organization no longer has a need for you, they figure out a way to frame you for a crime and then dispose of you quickly - no questions asked. This is the fate of our femme fatale Mallory Kane, played by Gina Carano. Her role is to figure out who framed her, why, and exact her own justice for such foul play, although the chain of events that occur during the film don't exactly follow this order.
To say that the plot is "jumpy" would be an understatement. We are taken from the present to the past, to the distant past and back to the present in a whirlwind of fancy screen effects, complete with slow motion and black and white screenshots. Considering this is supposed to be an action movie, I wasn't prepared for these frozen/slow-me-down camera gimmicks - it just doesn't work with the film's tone. Fighting equates action, which means a lot of noise and a lot of fast-paced camera action, complete with the shrill instrumental back-up that makes our hearts race.
This is not what we come to experience in all the 93 minutes of "Haywire." Although the fight scenes were as realistic as it gets, there was no momentum leading up to the action - no music and no audio effects. I never tensed or shuddered as glass shattered and faces were struck. Perhaps I am too numb from overexposure to film, but I don't think so - just read some of my other reviews. Emotion is an integral part of a film's success. If we don't feel pain, or sorrow, or fear, then we're not convinced. And if we're not convinced, then certainly we don't believe that the actors are convinced.
I have to laugh when considering the musical score throughout the entirety of the film, which reminded me of the bumbling 70's style rhythm of the "Kill Bill" film series. Certainly we never took Uma Thurman too seriously in her yellow jumpsuit, complete with samurai sword, a character quite the opposite of Mallory Kane. I applaud Carano in her efforts leading to an up and coming film career. She did a passable job in the acting department, although many times she appears caught in some intense trance with a subtle smirk on her face - a similar look I get when I know the camera's rolling. Her fight scenes I won't even begin to criticize because she's damn good at what she does and has earned every bit of her title. Is it too early to ask for a reboot of "Haywire?" Perhaps the second time around will be the charm!