Steven Soderbergh is a curious beast; a hugely talented director who continues to attract stellar casts and tackle new subjects but with very little point or depth behind it. Take 2009's The Girlfriend Experience; it's tagged as an experimental film but after watching it I, and everyone else, wondered what the hell the experiment was. Was it just an exercise in futility to see if a well-known porn star could actually act and command the same screen presence when not being penetrated in every orifice? Probably, but no one cared since the end result was boring as hell. Haywire, however, is a totally different thing seeing as it's Soderbergh does action, and even if MMA fighter Gina Carano is a rubbish actress it doesn't matter if her considerable skills as a fighter look awesome on screen. Which they do.
The plot is so simple it doesn't even deserve mentioning: a black ops soldier is betrayed and goes on a one-woman rampage kicking ass and taking names. It's basically some excellent and bone-crunching fight sequences tied together with some talking that's neither interesting nor particularly necessary. Ms Carano isn't bad by any means and in some ways her monotone delivery and huskier-than-Kathleen-Turner voice fits as this is a character who prefers to roundhouse people in the face than have a chat over a mug of peppermint tea. And good grief, the fights are something. Much like an epic stunt performed by an actual human being instead of someone in front of a green screen there's something exciting about knowing that what you're watching actually happened, and since Carano did all her own fighting it gives it that little bit extra. Ignore the fact that seeing a woman get thrown onto desk and punched clean in the face by the likes of Channing Tatum and Michael Fassbender is mildly uncomfortable because we all know she'll be wearing their ball sacks as a hat in no time. But not before she finds herself in this rather appealing position:
Even when on the verge of death Fassbender still has time to get his head between some lady-legs. God bless him.
To see how Haywire stacks up against Soderbergh's other movies, check out the online streaming service from LOVEFiLM and judge for yourself.