Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Haywire 2011

I feel like I must say something in protest against everyone's praise for Haywire, a fairly bad action film that is currently being touted as artistic, stylish and totally bad-ass.

So, it's an out and out action film - and I know I'm not supposed to expect an intelligent storyline or great dialogue, but honestly, even a Steven Seagal film scores higher on these accounts. Then of course, there's the action. For a film that's relying only on its lead's fighting prowess (she's a retired MMA fighter), the action is sparse and short-lived, and mostly not so exciting.

But back to the actors and their acting - so there's Gina Carano delivering scene after scene with no expression; and a host of very attractive leading men - Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas, Michael Fassbender, Ewan McGregor (ok not all were so attractive) and Channing Tatum (someone had to match Carano's wooden expressions after all) - most of whom get pounded by Carano at one point or another. Nobody, and this includes Fassbender, even tries to act well. Of course, it is meant to be a throwback to the '80s action-filled B-movies, which is obvious by the way it's been filmed - (mostly badly), with lots of discoloured, over-exposed shots, apparently using 4K Red One cameras - and by the story, which is unbelievably weak and flawed. Now if this was anyone but Steven Soderbergh at the helm, I'd have been convinced that it was simply a bad film - but with him sailing this ship I know he wanted to make it the way it's come out.

I am actually very confused by this new trend of homage films. When Scorsese makes Shutter Island (2010), or Soderbergh makes Haywire, what exactly do they bring to cinema? They're making redundant films really, by re-creating something that already exists, without really adding to it. When a Tarantino pays tribute to old cinema or when a Refn makes Drive (2011), I see the motivation, I see the homage and I see the creativity, because those films are not replicas of the past. Haywire brought me nothing new and actually just bored me to death.

Anyhow, it's getting decent reviews and people are enjoying the realistic-but-not-sufficiently-impressive action much more than I did - so maybe this needs to be seen and judged without my prejudices.

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