Thursday, February 2, 2012


Steven Soderbergh's "Haywire" is yet another head-scratcher from the talented but often nomadically adrift director. I do admire Soderbergh's willingness to take on all different kinds of material, rarely repeating the same genre twice, but he's made an action thriller with no thrills and not much action, either. 

The MMA star Gina Carano stars as Mallory Kane, an international operative employed by an anonymous and internally double-crossing agency. The picture's mostly an excuse for Kane to engage in MMA-style fights with her bosses (Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender). Much of the rest of the time, Soderbergh will end a scene with a punchy piece of music, but nothing's happened to go with it. His movie lacks any kind of oomph or forward thrust.

Carano displays a surprisingly appealing screen presence, and Michael Douglas has a couple of nice scenes as the government higher-up helping to call the shots. (He has one end of a telephone conversation that is hilarious with subtle menace.) Also, the movie is short - about 90 minutes. But as we filed out, a quizzical silence permeated the theater. What had we just seen?

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