Posted by: Vasco | May 17, 2012

Viewings

Haywire
Steven Soderbergh, 2011

Why can’t action cinema be all like this – fluid, fluent, economic, depurated, reduced to the kinetic energy of the chase, the fight, the ambush?

Why is it always necessary to (or try to) introduce motivations, stories, emotions, personalities, complications?

Because there’s almost nothing of this in Haywire. The narrative is reduced to the bare essentials, and what there is to know – not much – is revealed throughout the film. The characters exist in a limbo: we do not know (or little we know) where they come from, what they did, what moves them. What matters is the now – movement, momentum, suspension, instant.
A kinetic B-movie without overtones or subtext. But is it really?
Let’s not forget this is a Soderbergh film, it is perfectly possible that the man only wanted to do a kinetic B-movie, or not, maybe this was his opportunity to make an ironic comment on the current state of action movies, obese, bloated, lumbering, full of special effects and epileptic montages. Hence, the classic visual legibility of Haywire is something almost offensive, coming from other times; a time when people like Don Siegel and Walter Hill filmed this way as if it were the most normal thing in the world.

Photographed and edited by Soderbergh himself, Haywire is a lesson in how to shoot action.
Dry, expeditious, effective, obsessive, objective, it’s not a film, it’s action painting, sculpture in motion. Great Cinema. Glorious Cinema. And his best work in a long, long time.

ps: Gina Carano may not be an actress, but has a remarkable physical presence, and that’s more than enough.

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