Oscar winning director Steven Soderbergh (Traffic, Ocean’s Eleven) is happy doing high brow and middle brow films, but seems to have lost his good instincts with Haywire, an actioner overtly inspired by ‘70s exploitation cinema. And not just any ‘70s flicks, but those ones starring strong and sexy (and lethal) actresses such as Pam Grier. Haywire features mixed martial arts champ Gina Carano, a deadly bundle of curves who stars as Mallory, a black ops “contractor” who does wet work for government agencies that need deniability from kidnappings and assassinations.
Inexplicably framed for murder by her boss (played with slimy swagger by Ewan McGregor), Mallory wants revenge – but has to evade all sorts of cops en route. The fight scenes have a bone-crunching authenticity, and it’s a transgressive treat to see a woman laying a lethal beating on bad boys. But the plot is needlessly convoluted, and a lot of the movie just drags along, talky and directionless. Bourne this ain’t. M
Haywire ★ ★
Directed by Steven Soderbergh
Starring Ewan McGregor, Michael Douglas
R – 93 minutes
Continues at the Capitol & SilverCity
George Smiley drinks non-posh Scotch, and I’d recommend Grant’s, Scotland’s oldest family-run blended Scotch company. According to Jim Murray, author of The Whisky Bible, the guy who blends for Grant’s is a genius when it comes to taking a hodge podge of different distillery leavings and finding the best possible combination for smoothness and flavour. Their “family reserve” is nicely priced at $26.