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Capone is seriously considering a career in women's MMA fighting thanks to Gina Carano and HAYWIRE!!!

Published at: Jan. 20, 2012, 2:48 a.m. CST

Hey everyone. Capone in Chicago here.

Oh mama! If you think that all director Steven Soderbergh and writer Lem Dobbs (who last worked with Soderbergh on THE LIMEY) wanted to do with HAYWIRE is produce scenes that set up star and former mixed martial arts star Gina Carano to kick all kinds of ass, well you aren't totally wrong. Without giving too much away, let's just say that the timeline in this movie isn't 100 percent linear, and there are many reveals via flashback that are quite cool. My point is that there's a great b-movie star at play here as well, and while some might think that Soderbergh is slumming by even doing something so raw and brutal, I think he's paying tribute to the kinds of films that might have gotten his blood pumping a little stronger as a kid. HAYWIRE certainly got mine going.

Carano plays Mallory Kane, a private contractor hired by the government (through her handler/boss, played by Ewan McGregor) for various security jobs including extraction and neutralizing work. She's determined to get out of the life, but we know how well those decisions go in the movies. After allowing herself to get talked into one last high-paying gig of rescuing a kidnapped Chinese journalist, Mallory realizes she's been double crossed, probably by someone close to her, and there are many suspects to choose from, and few she can trust to help her figure out who is trying to have her killed.

Carano is largely untested as an actor, but I think she actually does a commendable job playing against the likes of Channing Tatum, Michael Fassbender, Antonio Banderas, Michael Angarano, and Bill Paxton, who plays her father. It was also nice to see Michael Douglas back on the boards as the contact between the government and the security team. But when it comes to the usually close-quarters action sequences, Carano (who does all her own stunts) is a beautiful and deadly force of nature. What's interesting about the way Soderbergh stages the fight scenes is that he doesn't drag them out; Mallory received black-ops military training, which is all about getting things done quickly and quietly, so when she has to dispatch with an opponent it's often quick and lethal. But when she meets an opponent that is more her match, that's when things get fun--for us anyway.

In truth, the plot of HAYWIRE doesn't really matter that much. If you get lost, all you really need to know is that a bunch of people want Mallory dead, and she is going to release an unholy combination of fists and feet to stay alive. But as I mentioned, the story is actually kind of fun if you can navigate the shifting timeline. But everyone in front of and behind the camera on Haywire exists to serve Carano, at whose hands and thighs I would gladly take a beating. She's attractive without being glammed out; even in form-fitting evening ware, she exudes a toughness crossed with raw power. Violence is in her eyes, but there's also a hint of unbridled passion--maybe for blood, maybe for other forms of physical contact. My immediate thought was how many more movies I'd love to see Carano in immediately.

Fans of Soderbergh know he's a big fan of hiring non-actors in the lead roles of many of his smaller films, perhaps most notoriously in THE GIRLFRIEND EXPERIENCE with adult film star Sasha Grey. But strangely enough, most times when Soderbergh goes this route, it works. And it might work best of all in HAYWIRE, which doesn't feel like your traditional action fare; it feels real without the amplified punching sounds effects and wildly spinning camera movement. Soderbergh shoots the fighting straight on, and the sounds he chooses sound like the natural thudding of fist on bone. You will wince with every impact, and then come running back to Gina Carano and ask for seconds. I know you all want to see HAYWIRE; I'm just here to confirm that it's as good as you were hoping it would be.

-- Steve Prokopy
"Capone"
capone@aintitcool.com
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Readers Talkback

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  • Jan. 20, 2012, 3 a.m. CST

    Fuck First!

    by phantomcreeps

  • Jan. 20, 2012, 3:06 a.m. CST

    Crush! Fuck yeah!

    by David Cloverfield

    I've been waiting for her movie carreer ever since i saw her on American Gladiators. Cast her as Wonder Woman, please,

  • Jan. 20, 2012, 3:10 a.m. CST

    This is movie is awful.

    by The Dude Abides

    Saw it last week and the theater groaned a collective sigh of relief when it was over. And those are the people who stayed through the end. It was boring, needlessly complicated, and the acting (all of it) was atrocious. I was hoping to enjoy this movie and was completely disappointed. There's only one true surprise in the whole film, and it involves a deer... seriously.

  • Jan. 20, 2012, 3:13 a.m. CST

    Also...

    by The Dude Abides

    If you go see this, watch how many times someone will check to see if they have bullets in their clip. Right after they fucking did it a moment before! What kind of fucking professional hitperson/extractor/whatever doesn't know when their gun is fucking loaded? The characters are stupid. And the movie just drags on and on and on and on.... ugh.

  • Jan. 20, 2012, 3:14 a.m. CST

    Looking forward to this - going to see it tomorrow

    by melonman

    Like what Soderbergh has been saying about shooting fight scenes in really clean shots, so you can see everything that's going on. Am optimistic, especially for listening to another David Holmes soundtrack.

  • Jan. 20, 2012, 4:25 a.m. CST

    Somethings gone a little HAYWIRE

    by masteryoda007

    I like how Soderbergh always seems to mix things up thematically. One things for sure he will never be labelled a one trick pony.

  • Jan. 20, 2012, 4:26 a.m. CST

    Against the likes of Channing Tatum...

    by Xenodistortion

    hahaha... I'm pretty sure if Gina Carano didn't have a head and the rest of her body was made out of old corn dogs and squirrels while delivering no performance whatsoever she would still blow the dude out of the water with her acting. That dude sucks something fierce. Bill Paxton just quit acting because you mentioned him in the same sentence as Tatum. Game over man.

  • Whatever floats your boat

  • Jan. 20, 2012, 4:40 a.m. CST

    BIG Letdown

    by SonOfChiba

    Saw this opening night and was hugely disappointed. It's flat, everyone looks bored, the plot is non-existent, there's no wit or humor, and , most inexcusably, it gives Carano no-one to really go up against in the few fight scenes she gets. Those people who stood up and cheered at screenings (apparently) are clearly people who have no knowledge of action/MA cinema. It looked nice, though - I'll give you that. but "a non=stop thrill ride" it ain't.

  • Aside from a few fight scenes, and THAT deer (which was the only highlight of the most boring car chase you've ever seen) I'd have to say that there was nothing in this film that was memorable or even noteworthy.

  • Jan. 20, 2012, 4:57 a.m. CST

    Also, while I think about it...

    by jim

    What was Bill Paxton doing in this film (besides sleepwalking) and Michael Angarano is used as a character to tell the flashback/backstory to, he takes it all in, says a few one liners and then half way through the movie disappears, never to be seen again WTF?

  • Jan. 20, 2012, 5:39 a.m. CST

    something about big tits s

    by Papa CaveDweller

  • Jan. 20, 2012, 5:40 a.m. CST

    and colliflower ears

    by Papa CaveDweller

  • Jan. 20, 2012, 8:08 a.m. CST

    I like my women soft and mushy...

    by blackmantis

    It's like screwing a warm pillow filled with creamy pudding...mmmmm....

  • Jan. 20, 2012, 9:52 a.m. CST

    She does! and you won't be able to sit for a week afterward...

    by Simpsonian

  • The deer scene aside it's a yawn fest, the director obviously watched the Bourne Trilogy and Salt back to back and thought..'Hey, i can do that!' All the actors are coasting just thinking of the pay check after the expenses of Christmas.

  • Jan. 20, 2012, 10:27 a.m. CST

    This Salty Hannawire movie looks pretty cool.

    by P

  • Jan. 20, 2012, 10:42 a.m. CST

    *spoiler* Plot point

    by Mikey Mike

    I didn't read it as 'She's determined to get out of the life'. Based on a discussion between two characters near the end, she merely wants to go into business for herself. She's not a reluctant assassin like she would be in many other movies. She's just about TCB.

  • Jan. 20, 2012, 10:46 a.m. CST

    I don't think Antonio Banderas is so tough, unless he's in cat form.

    by cookylamoo

    I mean the guys over fifty, probably short and is more of a lover than a fighter.

  • Jan. 20, 2012, 11:15 a.m. CST

    Evening ware? WARE? Like in Tupperware? Try "evening wear".

    by jawsfan

    And even a boring Soderbergh film is better than most other peoples' best movies. Soderbergh has been married to Jules Asner for quite a while, but during the marriage had a child out of wedlock with an Australian woman.

  • Jan. 20, 2012, 1:27 p.m. CST

    There won't be blood...

    by DrAwkward

    How many times can someone's face get slammed into glass without getting bloody? That fight with Fassbender was ridiculous. And if you want to kill a fellow secret agent, how about a knife to the neck, not a punch to the back of the head. So fucking lame and contrived.

  • Jan. 20, 2012, 4:27 p.m. CST

    I cannot buy Bill Paxton as ANYone's father ...

    by Vince Ricardo

    ... especially not someone as old as Carano, who he'd bone, given half the chance. Cannot buy it, sorry.

  • Jan. 20, 2012, 4:31 p.m. CST

    Bunch of slack jawed faggots

    by Extr3m1st

    All of you talkbackers apparently suck massive cock...you guys don't even like movies why even try and judge this one? Your shit!

  • Like, it was her voice, but still dubbed in every single line. Was distracting. And the plot is a bit muddled & for a movie with beautiful cinematography once in a while it lingered a tad too long on the aforementioned beautiful cinematography. Otherwise? Awesome-sauce overall.

  • Jan. 20, 2012, 6:02 p.m. CST

    Sorry, Gina

    by Al

    I was thinking about that chick who took her boobies out in Sin City.

  • Jan. 21, 2012, 10:08 a.m. CST

    vince_ricardo, Re: Paxton

    by submarinevoyage

    Bill Paxton is 27 years older than Gina Carano.

  • Jan. 21, 2012, 11:30 a.m. CST

    submarinevoyage, I know how old Bill Paxton is,

    by Vince Ricardo

    And how, biologically, he could easily be her father. So could I, and I'm ten years younger than Paxton. That's not my point. Point is, he just always looks too young ... which, really, is good for him. Frankly, I couldn't even really buy him as the father in Thunderbirds. I couldn't buy Tim Robbins as the senator father in Green Lantern, it took me out of the movie every time he was with his brother, er, I mean son. And Winona Rider as Spock's mom? Come on. Yeah, some people do age very well, but when you've grown up watching them act from a very young age, it's just difficult believing them as being, well, older. Sometimes. That was my point.

  • Jan. 21, 2012, 11:48 a.m. CST

    so now we can look forward to brock lesnar in a upcoming movie?

    by DanielnocharismaCraig

    Great. I can just imagine the legions of tatted up mma/ufc morons going to see this. The stupid people should be thrilled.

  • Jan. 21, 2012, 12:28 p.m. CST

    Cris Cyborg cheated to beat Gina

    by CimmerianWarrior

    On September 23, 2011, Strikeforce announced that Santos will return to the promotion to face Hiroko Yamanaka. The fight took place at Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal on December 17, 2011.[23] Santos won via TKO at just sixteen seconds into the first round; however, on January 6, 2012, Santos tested positive for anabolic steroids and as a result of the banned substance, the fight's result has been changed to a no contest while Santos had her license suspended for one year and was fined $2,500. I am sure she was taking it before then as well. Gina should be awarded the title for not cheating. Cybord is an average fighter and only wins due to massive doses of anabaloc steroids, HGH, and IGF1. Cheater, plain and simple. It angers me to see people say Cyborg beat Gina, NO, STEROIDS beat Gina.

  • Jan. 21, 2012, 3:09 p.m. CST

    This movie was really good. Go see it.

    by Pixelsmack

    I never suspected she wasn't a seasoned actress. The movie evokes subtle whiffs of "Out of Sight." A must see.

  • Jan. 21, 2012, 3:36 p.m. CST

    Screening

    by DustinBones

    Went to a screening on Thursday. I liked it. The fight scenes were filmed with a mostly static wide view (at least compared to the Bourne movies). Considering the cast and director, I have to assume people are expecting "The Godfather" of spy flicks. It's not. It was a tight, brutal, short, well made spy flick.

  • Jan. 21, 2012, 5:02 p.m. CST

    I fuckin' LOVED this flick!

    by NeonFrisbee

    Fun, straight forward, no bullshit revenge-actioner with a hott chick kickin' ass. What's not to like?

  • Jan. 22, 2012, 12:29 p.m. CST

    When will they stop making movies about JUST ONE LAST JOB ... ?

    by golden tribw