Haywire Review: Not a Spy Movie For Everyone

I just finished watching ‘Haywire.’ I really liked it. It appears to be a lower budget film with some heavy hitters such as Antonio Banderas and Channing Tatum. I’m certain that many people would find ‘Haywire’ to be a slow movie. Especially considering it’s about a spy on the run. But I didn’t find it to be slow. I liked the pacing, it drew me into the movie. The film also challenged me to understand what was going on with the larger plot. I understood the immediate problems, our protagonist, Mallory Kane, is on the run from her employers who have tried to kill her, I don’t feel like I’m being left in the dust, but I’m forced to close my computer-which I’m usually using while watching a movie-and pay attention. And as I payed attention I found myself drawn in by the long scenes, the two or thee camera angles, and the often absence of music. There was an underlining tension that could be felt in the film even during the slow parts.

Then of course there’s Gina Carano who plays Mallory Kane. Most actresses who play spies are just a pretty face. Their stunt double do most of the sweaty work leaving the actress to stand over “her conquered foes” once the Double is done. But Gina Carano is an ex MMA fighter and she knows how to handle herself. Her fights lack the usual Hollywood over the top showiness-though there are some cool moves-but actually look like realist fights. Not to mention the movie doesn’t make her Superwoman. She has to go up against a couple of the guys and she doesn’t beat them with just brawn, but with skill and strategy. Because come on, I’m a martial artist, and there’s no way I’m going to go up against a guy twice my size and start trading punches. I’m going to go for his weaknesses and try to finish it as quickly as possible.

I’d say this is one of the best female spy movies I’ve seen. Though not for heart pumping, flashiness, but rather intensity and believability. The movie has it’s flaws, the dialogue is a bit weak, though it preferred to show you what was going on rather then tell (hence the need to pay attention). Interestingly enough many of the things that I believe people would call flaws in the movie were actually the movies strengths; the long scenes, the limited camera angles, and lack of soundtrack are all things that many-including myself in many cases- would call flaws, but in this movie I would say they were the things that drew me in.

This is definitely not a movie for everyone, but I for one enjoyed it.

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