Action movies sometimes get a bad reputation — they’re supposedly all the same story lines, complimented by pretty girls and violence. In this case, that stereotype holds true. The plot of ‘‘Haywire’’ is pretty uninspired and is something that we’ve seen before. The lead, Gina Carano, is an attractive, if not terribly talented, actress, and fights are sprinkled — well, more like poured — liberally throughout the film. And you know what? “Haywire” shows why the stereotypes are stereotypes — they make entertaining movies.
The plot is a well-known premise, done in a quasi-unusual way. Mallory Kane, played by Gina Carano, is a black ops agent who works for the government. The movie begins with the protagonist in a diner, having a conversation with a man named Aaron (Tatum).
Their conversation references Dublin and Barcelona, making it clear the two are colleagues of some sort, but doesn’t give away much information. The dialogue isn’t the best writing ever produced, but it does get the audience tense and excited. You may not know what’s coming, but you know it’s going to be a good time.
Following a brief fight and a carjacking at the diner, Kane reveals a large portion of the plot through flashbacks. Obviously you don’t want to know the whole story, so let’s just say that it involves double crosses, plenty of international sights and a fair amount of violence. Quite frankly, the plot is pretty convoluted; what’s really entertaining are the fights — and the people in them.
Many people are focused on Carano’s lead, and it is generally worth noting whenever a woman is the lead in an action movie, considering how rarely it happens. However, despite having a female protagonist, ‘‘Haywire’’ certainly has the feeling of a ‘‘boy’s club.’’ There are plenty of big names in this movie, including Ewan McGregor, Channing Tatum (but what movie doesn’t have those guys in it nowadays?), Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas and Michael Fassbender.
Pretty much all of them are at their best in here — Ewan McGregor in particular manages to maintain his charm while staying in character. Many of them steal the show from Carano when they have scenes together, but don’t count her out just yet. What she lacks in acting finesse, she certainly makes up for in her combat skills.
Gina Carano is a mixed martial arts champion turned actress. And quite frankly, her acting isn’t up to par with her co-stars. She has a dull intonation which makes it difficult to connect with her character, and this problem is only exacerbated by her often expressionless face.
She’s not terrible — occasionally her dryness makes her entertaining. However, despite the fact that she might not have the star quality expected of an actress, there’s something intensely satisfying about seeing a female action star who is both beautiful and able to win a fight against literally anyone else on that set.
And when we’re very, very honest with ourselves, we all acknowledge that we go to action movies for the fights.
And boy, the fights are something to see in ‘‘Haywire.’’ They have a realistic edge that most action movies lack, and this is where Carano shines. She absolutely radiates strength, which is only more impressive when you look at some of the stunts she performs.
In all honesty, 99 percent of this movie is nothing special. The plot line is pretty basic as far as action movies go secret agent-type lead is betrayed and spends the rest of the movie trying to figure out why. It’s pretty much ‘‘Mission: Impossible’’ mixed with the Bourne trilogy. However, that last 1 percent is the fight scenes, and those are exceptional enough to make up for everything else. This movie is definitely worth seeing, if not worth owning.