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TV show review: CONTINUUM season 4

HAYWIRE (2012)

Blu-ray review by David Blackwell


DETAILS:  93 minutes, two featurettes, digital copy

VIDEO:  2.40:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen) 1080p High Definition

AUDIO:  English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio

Subtitles:  English, English SDH, Spanish


STUDIO:  Relativity Media/ The Irish Film Board/ Lionsgate

Theatrical RELEASE DATE:  1-20-2012

Blu-ray/ DVD RELEASE DATE:  5-1-2012


STARRING Gina Carano (Mallory), Channing Tatum (Aaron), Ewan McGregor (Kenneth), Bill Paxton, Antonio Banderas, Michael Fassbender, Michael Douglas (Coblenz)

WRITTEN by Lem Dobbs

DIRECTED by Steven Soderberg


HAYWIRE is a twisty thriller that reminds me of spy and action thrillers from the 1960s and 1970s.  The music is one of the key reminders.   It goes back and forth in time as Mallory first recounts the story of how she was set up to how it all started before Mallory was involved in this mess she's not running from.   Gina Carano is impressive in the action scenes and I would love to see her in more movies (despite her wanting to back into Mixed Martial Arts fighting).   She is like a new discovery.  Steven Soderbergh wanted to make a movie starring her after seeing her fight, and HAYWIRE is the result.


HAYWIRE starts with Mallory showing up at a dinner in cold and snowy upstate New York.   She is supposed to meet with her soon to be ex-boss Kenneth, but Aaron (one of the people she has worked with) shows up instead.   A fight breaks out and she takes a young man with her in his car.  She starts recounting the story about her mission in Barcelona to bring in Jiang (who is holed up in a safe house).   Mallory considers this to be her last job for Kenneth, but he manages to convince her to pose as a wife for a MI-6 agent in Dublin.   She discovers she is being set up for the fall and begins to evade teh police.


HAYWIRE could easily be the start of a franchise with a character you could use for a sequel.   Soderbergh uses his art film techniques to create uniquely edited scenes with the mission in Barcelona playing out partly in black and white.   Some of the action scenes are throwbacks to British spy thrillers while the climax reminds me a little of the end of the original GET CARTER.    Mallory works to unwind the conspiracy that has been weaved while Coblenz (the government guy who hired Kenneth's company for the Barcelona mission) knows there may be something fishy with Kenneth and he wants Mallory to find out the truth.    HAYWIRE doesn't rely on shaky cameras or quick editing for the action scenes which makes those scenes much easier on the eyes.   Some of those quick editing and shaky camera action scenes are sometimes not easy on my eyes when I watch something like the BOURNE films on the big screen (they end up giving me a headache).    HAYWIRE is the type of action film I would love to see a sequel to.  Plus I hope Soderbergh puts off his retirement from filmmaking because sometimes he makes great action thrillers like HAYWIRE.



The Blu-ray doesn't have much in bonus features.  No theatrical trailer and Steven Soderbergh doesn't do audio commentaries.


Two featurettes on the film are included along with a code to download the digital copy of the movie from iTunes.


GINA CARANO IN TRAINING (16 minutes) covers the casting of Carano as Soderbergh decided to make a movie around her in addition to covering the four weeks of training she went through (with behind-the-scenes footage) and a look at the three of the major fight scenes in the movie.


THE MEN OF HAYWIRE is a five minute featurette as the actors of the film reflect on their characters and talk about Carano.


FINAL ANALYSIS:  HAYWIRE is like the old 1970s action thrillers they used to make.  At least see it for Carano because she is an action movie star on the rise.  The transfer could have been a little bit better (in terms of the black values) and I wish there were more extras.


this review is (c)5-4-2012 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  send all comments to feedback@enterline-media.com