Steven Soderbergh (Director) is an acquired taste. I believe it is fair to say that he is one of the most influential experimentalists when it comes to movie making in the west. Just go through his filmography (Traffic, The Girlfriend Experience, Ocean's 11/12/13, Erin Brockovich, Full Frontal, Sex Lies and Videotapes, Out of Sight, Solaris, The Informant) and you can notice a rather splendid variety of genres and film styles. So, when he makes a spy thriller like Haywire, it is quite understandable that some people will either love it while others might not.
Haywire is a complex spy thriller that borderlines as a revenge drama and an all out action flick. Mallory Kane (Gina Carano) is a hired assassin who during the course of the film must decode her past assignments and present situation to figure out who is it that has double crossed her and wants her dead. The film moves smoothly between the past and the present, subtly dropping in big names from the film world as supporting characters to the female lead. Ewan McGregor as Kenneth, Mallory's boss, is deviously fiendish. Michael Fassbender can do no wrong nowadays and his portrayal of an assassin is suave and sleek. Channing Tatum for once doesn't stick out as a sore thumb and honestly comes across as quite dignified amongst Hollywood heavyweights like Michael Douglas and Antonio Banderas who bring a certain maturity to the entire proceedings.
Steven Soderbergh's filming style is very grounded. It lacks the panache of the Ocean 11 series, but suits well in the context of this film. The fight sequences are realistic; not glamorized, nor shoddy. The story is complex enough for the audience to pay attention, yet simple enough that it can be enjoyed for its action.
Throughout the film I could not help but compare the film to the recently released film Hanna. While Hanna was a film with a much simpler story that relied heavily on its protagonist played by Saoirse Ronan, Haywire has a lot more going for it. The story is much more complex and intriguing. The barrage of stars brings about a surprise and wow factor. The action is much more intense, and most importantly the direction is a lot cleaner.
Haywire might not achieve the same cult status as Kill Bill, but it does have qualities that will make it unforgettable. It's technically brilliant and true to Soderbergh, very experimental at times.
A must see film, Haywire gets a 4/5 Star Rating from me.