Haywire opens with one hell of a good fight. A beautiful woman and a totally buff guy go at it.
Dishes fly, chairs fly, people fly. Crack goes a bone, off goes a gun, the woman grabs a bystander and his car, and on the run she goes.
Much of the set-up of her story unfolds as the two escape. Like the fight, it’s one hell of a tale and full of surprises.
Move over Angelina Jolie. Machismo done feminine style just got an upgrade. A new butt-kicking babe is in town. And she has a personality with more dimensions than one. I counted three. The new champ is mixed martial arts star Gina Carano, who is also a champ in the ring. Stepping out of the ring and into the movies is good news for her opponents and even better news for action-flick fans.
Carano is Mallory, a mercenary working for a firm hired by governments to do work that governments cannot justify doing. Mallory is the best of the best. After the rescue of a political prisoner in Barcelona, Mallory is set up for assassination. Obviously, she wants to know why. So do you.
With guile, grace and guts, Mallory fights her way out of the attempt to kill her and goes to work clearing herself.
Carano kicks butt a dozen ways as she battles through a loosely woven and sometimes confusing spy thriller done by director Steven Soderberg (Contagion) and writer Lou Dobbs (The Score). Her co-stars are Channing Tatum, Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas, Ewan McGregor and the lately omnipresent Michael Fassbender.
Not that any of them or the story matter. About 20 minutes into the somewhat convoluted plot you don’t really care who did what to whom or why. Carano ought to kiss her MMA career goodbye. She’s now officially a movie star. This movie is all about the charismatic Carano and her amazing physical skills. And they are truly amazing.
Beautiful. Built. Sexy and very, very bad. One kick and a punch or two and I was in love.
And guys, I don’t think I’m alone here.
Mr. Movie rating: 4 stars
Rated R for violence, language and mature themes. It opens Friday, Jan. 20 at the Carmike 12, the Fairchild Cinemas 12 and Walla Walla Grand Cinemas.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on video.
2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.