Steven Soderbergh's fast-paced chase movie stars Gina Carano, Ewan McGregor and Michael Douglas
While other directors talk endlessly about the next great movie they are going to make, Steven Soderbergh keeps on quietly making films at a frequent rate, never repeating himself (Ocean’s sequels notwithstanding), and consistently bettering his contemporaries by way of exceptional filmmaking and surprising choices. Haywire is a case in point. Arriving in cinemas less than six months after his virus thriller Contagion, it’s a stripped-down action chase movie directed, shot and edited by Soderbergh with a level of energy and invention that puts most action directors to shame.
The slim plot centres on government assassin Mallory Kane (played by mixed-martial-arts star Gina Carano), who is on the run from all kinds of shady higher powers, for reasons which writer Lem Dobbs wisely deems unimportant to clarify. Big name actors play Mallory’s various antagonists (Ewan McGregor, Antonio Banderas and a coolly deadpan Michael Douglas), but the focus is on Carano’s Mallory, and she’s truly awesome; powerful, sexy and – like most of Soderbergh’s protagonists – very good at her job. David Holmes’ slinky score occasionally recalls Soderbergh’s Out of Sight, but mostly this is Kill Bill meets The Bourne Identity with all excess flab trimmed away.