The first trailer we saw for Haywire dubbed the movie as a sexy spy flick for women and then showed clips of a woman in tight black clothing running and jumping and throwing some punches. Every googled response for the movie brought back descriptions along the lines of “beautiful covert operative…” or “sexy spy” or “strong and sexy”.
A boring and predictable marketing campaign that is no doubt supposed to entice women into seeing this empowering film did nothing but piss off this quasi-feminist, stubborn writer to the point that she almost refused to see it. But after some heated arguments and further research, intrigue knocked out the misleading trailer and I was left with no choice but to suck it up and check it out.
The film, thank god, is not about how beautiful covert operative Mallory Kane (Gina Carano) is, but how she has to use her skills and training as a covert operative to escape an international manhunt, protect her father and gain revenge on a team that betrayed her after an operation went awry. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.
Carano brings Kane to life with a ferocious determination and focused skill. She plays well into what Hollywood seems to think a woman on the field should be like, but you can tell there’s a depth to her involvement and she’s not just a pretty girl playing tough for the camera. No stranger to throwing a punch in real life, Carano is a retired MMA fighter and was formerly the #3-ranked 145-pound female fighter in the world according to the Unified Women’s MMA Rankings. She does her own stunts, puts a certain power into her own fights and you can see her strength in each kick as she sends men flying across the room. At least the woman we’re supposed to admire in this movie is actually someone worthy of admiration.
There is no shortage of men to mention, right across the board from Channing Tatum, Ewan McGergor and Michael Fassbender to Antonio Bandares and Michael Douglas. If they wanted to appeal to a female market, maybe they should have highlighted how sexy the male cast is (oh right, they never do that).
Both Tatum and Fassbender had a chance to go head to head with Carano, two choreographed fight sequences that are really quite intense. Without spoiling who won, let’s just say we’re not surprised who came out on top.
With a party like this, it’s hard to see where the film can go wrong… until you watch it. They made a good effort to try and steer clear of a stereotypical Hollywood spy flick; there was a subtly to the filming, no recognizable pop hit blaring during the action sequences and there was this kind of calmness to everyone through the film. You can see what they are trying for, but it just doesn’t seem to quite work – the dialogue falls flat, the car chase scene seemed a little blasé and some of the fight sequences ended up causing a couple of giggles from the audience.
Haywire is what it is, another predictable spy flick with some serious MMA skills and a legit strong woman who knows how to use them.
images from google images