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Haywire begins innocently enough: A cautious young woman (Gina Carano) sits at a roadside diner, a bit troubled at the appearance of an acquaintance (Channing Tatum). Their encounter begins a serpentine telling of black ops, double–crossing, government involvement, and a super agent who appears to be the female version of Jason Bourne. Who’s the good guy? Who’s the bad guy? What is the plot, anyway? Most of that is incomprehensible, and little of it matters. It’s all an excuse to put on an appealing, nicely–paced action spy thriller…

ClearPlay In Action!

… a violent, appealing, nicely-paced action spy thriller. The big draw for Haywire is casting Carano, a real–life mixed martial arts fighter, in the lead. Her presence lends authenticity to the fight scenes and they feel more intense and violent than most screen fighting. ClearPlay negotiates the more extreme violence, and about 20 or so instances of language. The rampant mayhem makes it best for mature teens and above.

What goes right in Haywire?…

Action audiences tended to dislike Haywire while critics thought otherwise. I’m in the latter camp, and not for any esoteric, snobbish reasons. I just thought it had stylish direction (Thanks, Steven Soderbergh), and action scenes that felt more spontaneous than choreographed. Also, shout outs to a fine supporting cast of Ewan McGregor, Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas, and Bill Paxton.
Marty Nabhan—ClearPlay Karate Chopper
Rated R for some violence; 93 min; Directed by Steven Soderbergh
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