I would normally open a review with giving a brief and simple overview of the film but for the life of me, Haywire does not make that so simple. In short it is about a black-ops agent who gets betrayed by her employers and then seeks to exact revenge.
That is a simplified version of what the film is about, but honestly, i was unsure who was betraying who for most of the film. Even when it finished i was left wondering what on earth just happened. I am normally good at following complicated plot lines, but this was not so much complicated, as just messy.
So the needless complication of the plot was probably my only negative i am going to give this film, most of it was rather impressive and refreshing. The cinematography was an aspect of this film which i found most impressive. The camera angles were unusual, not the same straight shots etc that you’re used to seeing in your average action film. It didn’t do the quick shots which are common place in fighting scenes to give the impression of the fight be faster than it is.
Instead a lot of the action shots were still, allowing the viewer to see everything that is going on. As the lead actress, Gina Carnao, in an excellent martial artist it was quite something to behold as she took down villain after villain.
The fighting itself was probably the most realistic i have seen in a very long time. No moves added in for show, no useless back flips, just hardcore action the way it would go down in real life you’d believe.
Another point i would like to draw attention to is the use of sound. A lot of the film was done without too much dialogue. The action scenes were just that, action, they didn’t talk to each other, didn’t taunt each other, just both concentrating on not being the one to die. This again added to that sense of realism. How many times have we seen the bad guy taunting the good guy when on the brink of victory, only to have the good guy cut him off mid sentence with the usual epic come-back. Well not this time, you talk you die it would seem.
I believe the cast was another interesting point. They were an odd assortment of actors, not usually seen together. We are talking about actors such as Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas, Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender and Channing Tatum. Now these are some big names in Hollywood, but i felt they were, mostly, unneeded. The parts did not seem to call for them to play and i didn’t see their inclusion in the film as something i could not picture a less well known actor doing. The exception to that would be Michael Fassbender and maybe Channing Tatum. Their roles seemed to fit them, i couldn’t picture anyone else as their characters, but with everyone else, i could.
Don’t get me wrong, the film was good, had some rather refreshing takes on the action film scene. The only thing that seemed to kill it for me was the needlessly over-complicated plot. It could have been done to the same effect, or even better, by making it simpler, maybe i would have had a better response to it, but who knows. The bottom line is, Haywire is a good film, i would recommend you watch it if you’re into your martial arts, but its definitely not something to write home about.
Written by Oliver Willis