Finally saw this. Been waiting a long time (currently living in a country where I couldn't find it in theatres). It was worth the wait. The only thing I was afraid of was that the movie would include some MMA moves in what are supposed to be real life and death situations.
I like MMA, but I imagined seeing it used for self-defense in a real fight might look cornball. I'm not talking about the punching and kicking. I'm talking about stuff like a Kimura Lock. It could be like when The Rock is in a bar fight in a movie and he does 'The Rock Bottom'. It's a cute visual reference for wrestling fans, but also ridiculously silly.
Right at the beginning, in the diner scene, Carano was clearly doing MMA stuff the way she twists around Tatum to trap his arm. When I saw that, my heart sank. It looked so cheesy and I was worried that the whole movie would be like this.
Fortunately, this was the only instance where I felt the MMA-like fighting came across really unnatural and a bit goofy. I really enjoyed the fights throughout the rest of the film. They felt a lot more natural and realistic.
I liked how they all seemed so sloppy and spontaneous, yet at the same time, obviously choreographed meticulously. The beach fight in particular was somehow both beautiful and really, really funny due to the combination of it feeling awkward, yet dynamic at the same time. There's such an intriguingly weird combination of qualities in this movie's action scenes.
This movie just reinforced my appreciation for Soderberg as a filmmaker. I've enjoyed all the Soderberg movies I've seen to varying degrees. "Sex, Lies, and Videotape" and "The Girlfriend Experience" were sad, touching, and fascinating, but not movies I'd ever want to watch again.
"Out of Sight", "The Limey", and "Traffic" are all tremendously entertaining and moving at the same time. They are movies I love to watch again and again. I think I saw "Ocean's Eleven", but I don't remember.
"Haywire" reminded me of "The Limey" at times, and that's a big compliment. It didn't have as much substance and as many memorable lines as that movie, nor did it have the emotional impact. I didn't feel for the characters, but I was absorbed from start to finish anyway.
I think part of what made it so enthralling to me was how sparse it was. I really liked the pacing and even when there was exposition, it was fairly swift (one of my biggest pet peeves in general with movies these days is pace-killing exposition). The whole thing felt very '90s old school to me, and that thrills me, because I love a lot of movies from that period, especially action movies.
Again, this kind of lean storytelling, reminiscent of "The Limey", was what I'd hoped for, knowing that the two movies had the same screenwriter. I'm so glad he delivered again. My favourite similarity between the two movie was the framing in the last scene.
It echoes the brilliant shot in "The Limey" where someone is thrown over a cliff in the background (one of the most hilariously clever shots in movie history, as far as I'm concerned). As soon as the shot was set up so we're seeing something happening all blurry over the shoulder of loungin' sleazebag Banderas, I knew what was coming. Even knowing, I still enjoyed every second of it. Perfect ending.
Edited by Naisu Baddi - 6/28/12 at 1:44pm