History, Legacy & Showmanship - Michael Coate looks back at A View to a Kill as the film turns 30 http://t.co/saUeN92aC7
Haywire (U.S. & Canadian)
Release Date(s)2011 (May 1, 2012)
Studio(s)Lionsgate (U.S.), Alliance (Canada)
In some of the supplementary content provided with the Blu-ray disc of Haywire, director Steven Soderbergh suggests that his inspiration for the film was a late-night television viewing of mixed-martial arts performer Gina Carano in action that suggested building a film around the woman.
The resulting film just goes to show that all night-time ideas don't pan out too well. For one thing, Carano has no charisma and she can't act. Mind you she is done no favours by a screenplay that offers no originality and just assembles a sequence of events intended to occur in various international locales. What's it all about? Carano is apparently a black-ops agent for a government security contractor and after one operation in Barceloni, she is apparently double-crossed and left for death by someone in her own organization. The rest of the movie just keeps trotting out assassins after her as we are dragged through a bunch of other operations seemingly contrived to give cameo-like opportunities for the likes Michael Douglas, Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender, and Bill Paxton. The film's action quotient comes from the mind-numbing boredom of mixed martial arts whose interest peaks in the film's first 5 minutes and glazes the viewers' eyes over thereafter. What a disappointment to see the director of the likes of Sex, Lies and Videotape, Erin Brockovich, Traffic, The Good German, and the Ocean's Eleven reboots reduced to such drudgery. Haywire is available on Blu-ray from Alliance in Canada and Lionsgate elsewhere. The 2.40:1 image is reasonably crisp, and colours offer modest saturation given Soderbergh's photographic choices which give the film a touch of a lemon-pledge patina on occasion. Shadow detail is somewhat problematic at times. The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is not particularly ear catching. Dialogue is clear and decently centred, while sound effects are not super aggressive in either volume or in spread across the soundstage. A French 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track and English subtitles are provided on Alliance's release. Extras on the disc comprise three featurettes on Gina Carano, and on the men and characters of Haywire. Another worthy time- and cash-saving opportunity. Not recommended.