Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Haywire (2011)

     This is the kind of movie where the critical part of my brain would prohibit any level of enjoyment.  Because having hot coffee thrown in your eyes will leave you (at the very least) momentarily blinded.  That isn't a question of will.  You can't just decide that it doesn't affect you because you are USMC-tough.  No, I pretty much went with where Steven Soderburgh wanted to go in Haywire (2011) because it required less effort than noting what the superspy/assassin can do because she is the best.  If I learned anything from the action movies of the 1980s, it was that there doesn't have to be any relationship between the real world and what the action hero does, so long as it looks cool.
     For the most part, Haywire does just that.  It has the just-obvious-enough edits that sell the practicality (instead of camera trickery or CG shenanigans) of the fight scenes.  Mallory Kane (Gina Carano) is able to survive a blow that should crush both cervical and thoracic vertebrae, stay conscious and combat effective after being repeatedly punched (full force) in the face by a much larger opponent, and braid her hair (for combat effectiveness?) in a matter of mere minutes because it is simply more interesting than the alternative.  If Mallory is knocked out in the opening scene, then there isn't much of a movie.  Unless Soderburgh was going to give an audience a torture sequence like the one in Casino Royale (2006), and that really would be torture-porn.  I'm glad he went the more conventional route.
     I found myself mostly enjoying the quick pace, the lack of any real connection of the events to a sensible plot (for any of the major characters), and the soundtrack.  Haywire has quite possibly the best action film music (discounting Sword & Sorcery fare) I have heard in the last ten years.  It helps drive the action forward, and even to hide how normal (safe) the camera shots are.  Now, if I wanted to think about it, I am positive I would have a long list of problems with the movie.  But it isn't something to think about.  See.  Enjoy.  Delete from memory banks.  That is how I feel about Haywire.  It is a diversion that is not likely to do more than make one think Carano can fight (which she had already proved before getting into acting) or notice that Bill Paxton no longer resembles Hudson from Aliens (1986) at all, even while you know that it is him.

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