Mojave Flick Review: Haywire

Editor’s note: We all love movies, but rather than ask a syndicated columnist who has never visited our beautiful High Desert, we commissioned our own local movie critic: Nolan P. Smith to review films and give us a local perspective. Enjoy!

Miguel Gonzalez


By Nolan Patrick Smith

High Desert Daily

(Victorville) There has been massive buzz around Haywire in the weeks following its release: from former American Gladiator Gina Carano being in her first leading role in a wide release film to the list of talents surrounding the film which include Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas and Ewan McGregor. Billed as an action flick that brings the energy, does Haywire end up fizzling out?

Directed by Steven Soderbergh, known for the Ocean’s Eleven films, Haywire tries to bring an edgy coolness to it, but falls flat at every turn. I see it has the flipside to last year’s hit Drive, which oozed with coolness and hit all the high notes just right. Gina Carano’s fighting abilities are not to be questioned, as the film shows she can clearly hold her own with the best of them: it’s quite sad that we only see her fighting abilities for a fraction of the film. Acting wise, Carano has a long way to go, but then again, even some of the best actors can end up with a cardboard like performance given the right train wreck of a script. None of the characters present in the film make the audience care about them, so watching the film in one sitting can be a milestone for most.

As I stated earlier, many top-notch talents are on board for this film, including Michael Douglas, Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender, and Antonio Banderas. It is a shame that their talents have no room to shine here, as none of these star actors make a memorable performance. Instead, the films center around Carano’s lead character, Mallory, and a nobody she takes along with her while she is on the run. Actions in this film make no sense, but that would be perfectly acceptable had there been brainless, loud violence to satisfy moviegoers.  The action scenes we do get are almost muted and lack any sort of impact, just as the score for the film does.

The most annoying, mind-numbing aspect of the film has to be the sound. The score sounds like a generic 70’s action flick gone horribly wrong, as the film tries so hard to make you believe that what you are hearing and seeing is a whole new level of cool. Like I mentioned above, even the sound effects sound off and muted, making me wonder how this made it past the cutting room floor.

Like I stated earlier, this is like the flipside to last year’s Drive: take out the high octane action scenes, the likable silent lead character, the mood driven score and overall high production quality of Drive and you get something dangerously close to Haywire. Even though the year just started, Haywire has already claimed the worst of the year title thus far.

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