Haywire on DVD – The DVDfever Review – Gina Carano


Haywire opens with a mystifying conversation between Mallory Kane (Gina CaranoChanning Tatum) in a roadside diner, about whether she’s guilty of a crime, and also bout a man called Paul. A fight breaks out and Mallory escapes, taking a hostage and explaining the story as she goes, which leads to the whole thing being told in flashback.

Mallory worked for the government, trying to track down a man in Barcelona called Jiang (Anthony Brandon Wong), she’s in a not particularly great marriage to Kenneth (Ewan McGregor) and her father (Bill Paxton) is an an author. When we see her meet up with Kenneth, he tells her he has a new assignment for her where she’ll simply be the eye-candy, rather than anything complex, and meets up in a hotel with Paul (Michael Fassbender) to do the task assigned.

With the tagline of “The C.I.A. trained her, and now they’ve betrayed her.”, I saw the trailer and was really looking forward to this. However… after the opening diner fight, there then followed 35-40 minutes of not a lot, with too much pacing up and down stylishly-shot hotel corridors and other places, before a second fight developed.

Haywire turned out to be a very predictable tale of betrayal and revenge. Overall, if Gina wants to be the female Jason Statham in action movies – and she has the looks, the talent and the determination, showing from the extras – she’s going to have to seriously up her fight quotient in the next film.

Filmed in anamorphic Hawkscope, the picture has a convex look to it at times, a bit similar to Panavision, although it also ends up with a black oval haze around the edges of the image which just looks weird.

Haywire also stars Michael Douglas and Antonio Banderas, and when it comes to them as well as Ewan McGregor with his ridiculous American accent, none of them even bother to begin to attempt to push the boat out.

Presented in the original 2.35:1 theatrical ratio and in 1080p high definition, the picture looks crisp and clear for a DVD, without any defects on show, but when you’re used to Blu-ray, it can never compare. For the record, I’m watching on a Panasonic 37″ Plasma screen via a Samsung BD-P1500 Blu-ray player.

The sound is in Dolby Digital 5.1 and there’s not much to shout about in this department. Fights, and even gunfire, feel flat, with precious little going on in the surround channels.

The extras are as follows:

  • Gina Carano in Training (16:01): Chat, mostly from Gina, plus footage in the ring where she was fighting in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) events, with additional chat from director Steven Soderbergh and various experts to help with her training, such as with weapons training and also for the fight scenes.

  • The Men of Haywire (5:29): Very brief snippets of chat with Fassender, Tatum et al. Too brief for any meaningful insight, and, in fact, Michael Douglas never even gets a say here, despite being flagged up as one of the five men in the film. What a con.

  • Characters of Haywire (9:09): This is basically a series of trailers of varying differences, with another couple of pieces towards the end of brief chat from key cast members, which is nothing that hasn’t already been covered in the first extra.

  • Trailer (1:34): See the same clips again, and like all the other clips featured, it’s in the original 2.35:1 theatrical ratio. It groups together all the action scenes so it makes it look more action-packed than it is.

The menu features brief clips of the film, with the theme in the background. There are subtitles in English only and the total number of chapters is a paltry 12. Why do so many distributors do this? It’s not as if they’re paying by the chapter. One every five minutes should be the minimum.

Another of my bug-bears comes up with this disc as it’s another case of putting trailers before the main menu, like a rental video from the 80s. And then there’s even a chocolate bar advert!! Why do they do this? They should be in the extras menu – the trailers at least, and nowhere else. You pay for the disc and you don’t need extra advertisements as if you’re in the cinema.

Haywire is out now on Blu-ray and DVD.


Detailed specs:
Running time: 89 minutes
Year: 2011
Cat no: MP1145DR0
Released: May 14th 2012
Chapters: 12
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1
Languages: English
Subtitles: English
Widescreen: 2.35:1 (Hawkscope)
Disc Format: BD50

Director: Steven Soderbergh
Producer: Gregory Jacobs
Screenplay: Lem Dobbs
Music: David Holmes

Mallory Kane: Gina Carano
Kenneth: Ewan McGregor
Paul: Michael Fassbender
Aaron: Channing Tatum
Coblenz: Michael Douglas
Rodrigo: Antonio Banderas
Scott: Michael Angarano
Diner Waitress: Debby Lynn Ross