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Haywire (Blu-ray Review)

27 Apr, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Street 5/1/12
Box Office $18.94 million
$29.95 DVD, $39.99 Blu-ray
Rated ‘R’ for some violence.
Stars Gina Carano, Michael Fassbender, Ewan McGregor, Bill Paxton, Channing Tatum, Mathieu Kassovitz, Michael Angarano, Antonio Banderas, Michael Douglas.

Judging by the box art, all that appears missing from the cast of Haywire is British tough guy Jason Statham front and center with guns blazing. But that would diminish the talents of sexy Gina Carano, a real-life mixed martial arts fighter and former “American Gladiators” star who singularly elevates the movie into an international actioner Jason Bourne would be proud of.

Carano plays Mallory Kane, a black ops special agent who is double-crossed on a failed mission to safeguard a Chinese dissident in Ireland and plots her revenge on those who wronged her. So much for an original plot or intrigue. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy it isn’t.

But who cares? Sstorytelling is not what prompted director Steven Soderbergh to hire Carano after watching her punch out an opponent in a televised MMA event. As highlighted in the bonus material, Soderbergh just knew he had to make a movie with Texas native Carano. It’s the same lure that prompted the Oscar-winning director (Traffic) to cast porn star Sasha Grey in The Girlfriend Experience in 2009.

Kane’s double-crossers feature an oddly cast slew of non-action stars, including ubiquitous Michael Fassbender, Ewan McGregor, Antonio Banderas, Michael Douglas and Channing Tatum. With the exception of elder statesman Douglas, all of the aforementioned suffer extensive beatdowns and more at the hands of the female wrecking ball.

Indeed, Carano’s hotel slugfest with Fassbender alone is worth the price of the disc. The two slamming each other into mirrors, walls and closets, and pretty much with any object within reach with utmost abandon is riveting. Too bad someone has to die. 

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