So, I finally got around to it. I didn't think I was going to bother, but a copy of Haywire shot across my desk and my lightning reflexes caught it, so here we are.
Gina Carano's film career so far has been, well, to call it one-dimensional and brief would be unkind, nonetheless not too far from the truth. Known by a certain type of audience already for her very physical abilities (she likes a bit of a ruck, let's be honest) she had, at time of filming this, yet to really bother the mainstream. Inarguably beautiful and even statuesque, Carano fits the bill here as Mallory Kane, Black Ops super-secret-super-soldier, employed by a covert agency to carry out work commissioned by her government, on the quiet, like.
"You shouldn't think of her as a woman. That would be a mistake."
Oh by crikey, now that is an understatement. Mallory Kane is a one-woman army, if that army was heavily armed, hard as re-enforced Teflon coated nails, on its period and bloody annoyed about absolutely everything. Woman? That would definitely be a mistake.
Somebody, somewhere clearly got to thinking that what Hollywood really needed was another Cynthia Rothrock. Surely it's been too long since we had a tough as old boots, yet still remaining feminine, hero to root for, who defies all the odds but comes out triumphant in the end. They clearly felt so strongly about it that they threw a who's who at the wall a few times and just hired whoever ended up on the page it fell open at, so apparently random is the casting. Soderbergh is renowned for doing just whatever project he feels like, frankly, and given one of his last projects of note starred a proper, genuine hardcore porn star in the shapely form of Sasha Grey, this shouldn't really come as a surprise.
He is hit and miss, however, to those that have seen the majority of his efforts and this probably won't go down as one of his finer moments. The plot is thin and the acting is almost entirely wooden. It almost appears the rest of the cast, talented though they are, have been asked to rein it in for the sake of making the lead not look too out of her depth. Still, I've not seen this much fawning over someone less deserving since the music industry forced Justin Timberlake's solo career down everyone's throats against their will, just to see if it could get away with it. Hopefully, this career will be shorter lived.
Don't be fooled by the names attached to the project, Soderbergh included, as this means little in the grand scheme of things. It isn't terrible by any means, but the audience it did gather were, from what I have read, not exactly dyed in the wool cinephiles. Perhaps that makes me sound like Lord Snooty, but this is an uncomplicated kick-ass of a movie, dressed up as something more sophisticated purely based on the names attached to it. Don't be fooled or raise your expectations if you haven't yet had a viewing, as you will end up disappointed.