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Haywire

Year: 2012
Production Co: Relativity Media
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Writer: Lem Dobbs
Cast: Gina Carano, Ewan McGregor, Antonio Banderas, Channing Tatum, Michael Douglas, Michael Fassbender

Again Soderbegh shifts gears and though I've never watched The Man From U.N.C.L.E., this film might contain the flourishes he would have bought to that project had he not pulled out.

Mallory (Carano) is a former soldier now working for a nerdy but evil corporate bigwig (McGregor) who does smash and grab hostage rescues, assassinations and other tasks for whom he maintains a team of dangerous and skilled mercenaries.

We meet her in a rural coffee shop where a young colleague (Tatum) apparently comes to pick her up but then proceeds to kick seven shades out of her. Mallroy gets the upper hand and manages to get away in a young guy's car, proceeding to tell the young guy – sitting in the seat beside her – the whole story in flashback.

On a routine operation accompanying another spy (Fassbender), her employer double crossed her and her partner tried to kill her in another brutally shocking fight scene. But again Mallory's skills win out and it's time to shoot, run and kick her way back to her boss (es) to dispense her own kind of justice.

You'd need to watch it a few times to get every machination of the plot, but it's one of Soderbergh's fun, cool movies – the jazzy soundtrack gives what's essentially a B movie a very fine edge and his effortless command of the image on screen does the rest.

I wonder though if he cast Carano to fulfill an adolescent fantasy or even get in her pants – I won't say she can't act, but you can see the joins all too clearly for a Stephen Soderbergh film and talent that outclasses her too easily surrounds her on every side.

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