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Guide price: £10
Last updated on 24th May 2012
Marking the action film debut of MMA star Gina Carano, Haywire is an utterly relentless piece of cinema. It's from director Steven Soderbergh, himself better known for films such as Traffic and Contagion over straight-out action movies. That does mean, though, that he's comfortable finding his own way through the genre, and he does so with considerable style. Many of the trappings of the modern action movie are avoided as a result.
Carano plays a black ops specialist, who inevitably ends up being betrayed, and finds herself on the run from a cast of surprisingly high profile actors. Chief amongst them? Michael Douglas. But Haywire also finds room in its ranks for Channing Tatum, Michael Fassbender, Ewan McGregor and many others. Some appear fleetingly, others for longer, but there's a sense that you never quite know who's going to appear next.
Carano's never going to win acting awards, but her genuine MMA skill lends the film real authenticity to its action sequences. Bluntly, this is one action lead who you genuinely believe could do you some damage. The fast moving visuals keep pace with her, and the film, save for a stutter as it approaches the end, exceeds expectations.
The DVD itself has a smattering of interesting extra features, but it's the rewatchable nature of the main feature that gives the very best value for money here. More action roles for Carano would be welcome, too. --Jon Foster