Haywire (Steven Soderbergh, 2011)

Haywire

Ho hum.

I’m tempted to leave the whole review there but, for my future memory’s sake…

I wasn’t left much choice in what to see, since the local cinema’s start times left only this with a chance of getting a train home afterwards but, lulled into a false sense of security by both Rotten Tomato‘s decent rating and Mark Kermode (a reviewer with whom I normally tend to largely agree) saying how much fun it was, I thought I’d give it a try. I’m not a big fan of “actioners” but, with a decent cast, a “name” directer and a proper fighter in the lead, I thought we might either get something interesting-but-flawed or else trashy-but-fun. As it turns out, it was trashy-and-flawed. And this adds up to tedium.

Mallory Kane (Gina Carano) is a contracted special agent, employed by her ex-boyfriend Kenneth and hired out to the US government for undercover jobs, such as rescuing a Chinese dissident from kidnappers in Barcelona. The movie starts in medias res, with Mallory telling her story to a “civilian” after an arranged meeting with Kenneth goes awry – and everything relates to the job in Barcelona which, in some unspecified way, also went wrong.

There were the bones of something good here; everyone around the main star can and does act, and Carano herself was competent. But it just doesn’t hang together as an engaging piece of storytelling and the fights are neither spectacular nor realistic enough (nobody wins a fight immediately after being hit in the back of the head with a solid object) to distract from this. It’d probably while away an afternoon on tv when you really can’t be bothered but it’s not nearly enough to justify a trip out to the cinema.

I did quite enjoy seeing bits of Dublin, and recognising at least one street, though.

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