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Monday Popcorn: Haywire
Jan 23, 2012

I love movies. Just the sight of a movie trailer or poster promoting a movie I want to see gets me excited. I get online and watch the trailer multiple times, I tell all my friends about it and then beg them to go see it with me. I love the movies, but let me tell you what I don’t love. I hate when I get all pumped up about a movie because the trailer looks soooooo good and then I go watch the movie and I find out that the trailer was really just a mash-up of all the good parts because the rest of the movie sucks. I try to remain optimistic and hope that I’ll never come across a movie that breaks my heart in such a way, but every now and then it happens, and it happened this past Friday night.

This week’s movie was Haywire. The film is directed by Steven Soderbergh, also the director of Contagion (2011) and Erin Brockovich (2000), and stars retired mixed martial arts fighter Gina Carano as super spy, Mallory Kane. I had seen the trailer for this movie at the Malco last year during another movie and I thought, “Yes! It’s about time there was another movie where the woman gets to kick butt.” I was hooked. I had to see it.

The opening scene is of Mallory waiting for someone in a rural café when in walks Aaron (Channing Tatum), a guy she did a job with in Barcelona. They have small talk and the fighting ensues. The scene ends with Aaron lying on the floor with a broken arm and Mallory driving off with a young man named Scott. Mallory proceeds to tell Scott she has been double-crossed by the CIA organization she works for and recounts the series of events that led up to the smack down in the café. Apparently things in Barcelona were not as they seemed, and now she’s the target. Mallory tells Scott to remember everything she says and then they get involved in a high-speed chase with LEOS (law enforcement officers), and it ends with a deer in the car.

Throughout the movie, other men, Rodrigo (Antonio Banderas), Paul (Michael Fassbender) and Kenneth (Ewan McGregor), come into play and it’s clear this web of deception is more tangled than Mallory thought. The rest of the movie is basically Mallory running from people, beating up people or killing people. I can’t tell you much more than that because I would be telling you the whole movie, which is precisely the problem.

I love action movies as much as the next person, but in addition to the action, there has to be a clearly defined plot, some character development and a little dialogue. Haywire is falling short in all these areas. There were moments went I literally had no idea what was happening. Mallory was punching people and wrapping her legs around their heads and I had no idea why. My friend Allison came with me, and I turned to ask her what was happening a couple of times and she had no idea. In addition to the vague plot, there were also incredibly long sequences where there was no dialogue. When I say NO dialogue, I mean NO dialogue. Actually, the only sounds during these periods of time were heavy breathing with cliché spy music. I may have been able to deal with some of the silence and the sucky plot if there had been more information about the characters. All I can tell you about Mallory is that she was a marine, the only person she trusts is her dad (Bill Paxton) and people want her dead. If would have been nice to know why she joined the CIA or what she was like growing up.

I had so many expectations going into this movie, and I am sad to say that I was tricked by a well-made movie trailer. All the intensity of the fight scenes was lost on me because there was no substance to the movie. I wanted to feel like I got punched in the face because it was so intense, not feel like there was enough time for me to take a nap between chase scenes. I had imagined her to be the female Liam Neeson (cuz you know he kicks major butt in all his movies), with all the character complexities and the action. The movie is called Haywire, not Hey Watch Me Run From People and Maybe Hit Someone in the Face.

There is one good thing that I can say about this movie…Gina Carano is not to be messed with. I could tell her experience as an MMA fighter played into this role and I wish I could beat up people like she did, if I had to (I don’t usually resort to violence). For that reason and that reason alone, I give this movie a four on a scale from one to 10.

Well, that’s all folks. I really can’t tell you much more than that. This Friday, I hope to see a Man on a Ledge. Hopefully he does more than just stand on a ledge.

Until next time,

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