There is always a risk attached when a film has title that goes like 'Haywire'. A filmmaker needs to be sure that one slip and the audience feedback too would summarize into just one word - 'haywire'! Thankfully though this doesn't quite happen in this latest action affair which has a director as capable as Steven Soderbergh at the helm of affairs.
The film tells the story of one film old Gina Carano (a mixed martial arts champion in real life) who could well have been equated to Uma Thurman from the 'Kill Bill' series if not for the film's setting of being a spy thriller. The reason being that in the world where men are perceived as ones kicking butt, especially on screen she gives it back as well. So much so that she is capable of killing with her bare thighs (and that too in not so much as a conventional manner). As a woman who has been scorned after being double crossed in her deal, she is set out to seek the truth and take revenge.
With a plotline like this that travels countries; 'Haywire' had to maintain a certain momentum that would keep the audience intrigued throughout. Now that's something that can be expected from Soderbergh since he is the man behind the 'Oceans' series and knows a thing or two about keeping the suspense alive. So while he continues to tease audience about wondering aloud about 'what really happened', he thankfully spares them from getting all too worked up with the narrative, something that 'Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy' was guilty of not too long ago.
This means that while one tries to figure out the agents who had hired Gina to do carry out a job, then roped her in for another, only to betray her with means that always seemed shady to begin with; the director punctuates the thinking process with enough action sequences that keep the adrenalin pumping. This also in fact solves the very purpose of roping in Gina who, due to her real life prowess of taking on opponents with her bare fist, takes complete advantage of the platform provided to her and comes across as the female version of Jean Claude Van Damme.
While she continues to keep her tough act on (even though one can't help but sneak in a little closer and appreciate her beauty and an understated sexuality as well), there are over half a dozen characters introduced into this dramatic action affair that ensures that 'Haywire' doesn't quite turn out to be a one-dimensional affair. Of course this also means that at times one tends to get a tad confused with the proceedings, more so because Soderbergh doesn't really follow a linear mode of story telling.
Moreover one also feels that while Gina is taking centre stage here (for all the right reasons), there are actors like Michael Douglas and Antonio Banderas (appearing in smaller parts) who could have been far more prominent. Agreed that they were roped in not for the star value that they carry but the weight they could bring in to their characters. Still, for a film to be internationally far more well received, much bigger presence of it's most saleable names could have helped the film's prospects further.
In case of 'Haywire', while Gina does what she asked to do and Soderbergh too goes about telling an interesting tale in a manner that one expects from him, the film doesn't quite cover a greater distance and ends up finding itself in a zone of director's other films like 'The Informant!' and 'The Good German' which were good again but only found restricted audience for themselves at least internationally.