Haywire (2012)

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When a freelance black ops agent is betrayed by her employer, she must evade capture by both the police and her erstwhile colleagues whilst tracking down the traitor to exact revenge.

The plot to Haywire will never win any awards for originality but Steven Soderbergh’s foray into Bourne territory is a nicely taut, no frills exercise in Cold War style action that is a million miles from the glitz and bonhomie of the Ocean’s franchise. He has clearly been influenced by the likes of From Russia With Love and Get Carter as the film has a very old school feel, with some bone-crunching and brutal fight scenes. The striking but not implausibly beautiful Gina Carano is completely believable in her part as a tough as nails, no-nonsense she-Bond who is a coldly professional hard case who also happens to be a woman. The rest of the quality ensemble cast are also very solid, although I did feel that the unavoidably likeable Ewan McGregor was rather miscast in his part and Channing Tatum appears and disappears again without warning and seemed only to be there as an excuse for some narrative flashbacks.

These are relatively minor points though as Haywire is a quality post-Bourne thriller that harks back to Soderbergh’s early career as cinematographer to the Coen brothers and is one of his better efforts of late.

7/10

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