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Is Haywire a Game Changer?

Is Haywire a Game Changer?

I know I am dating myself when I can say that I knew nothing about MMA – mixed martial arts – before I saw the film Haywire.  I’m not the kind of person who tunes in to see women beat each other up in cages or in arenas or quite frankly anywhere.  Not my kind of thing.

But then I guess it’s a good thing that Steven Soderbergh does, because with Haywire he’s basically created a woman we’ve never seen onscreen before.  Yes, we’ve seen women kick butt, most recently Zoe Saldana in Colombiana and Angelina Jolie in Salt.  But those were actress playing action roles.  Here’s a woman — the stunning Gina Carano — who really never acted before and they built an entire movie around her ability to kick everyone’s butts up and down the street.  Pretty damn cool.

I remember when we first saw Arnold Schwarzenegger shining onstage as Mr. Universe.  Hollywood ate him up and we all know that story.  And Jean-Claude Van Damm was a martial arts star before he became an actor.

So Haywire does what has been done before for the dudes – make a female athlete a movie star.  And it works.  No one is going to see this film for Ms. Carano’s acting which is fine (way better than stiff Arnold or the other action dudes turned actors.)  They are going to see this movie for the action.  And the action is great and the movie is fun.   The premise is not revolutionary.  Government soldier gets sold out and has to go on the run to clear her name and find out who set her up.  So she does and along the way she evicerates everyone who is trying to take her down. 

The action is at a whole different level than we have seen with female protagonists before.  It’s not toned down because she is a girl.  In fact it’s ratcheted up because she is the best and no one can figure out how to kill her.

I must give props to Mr. Soderbergh who said to me at a very early screening of this film that he really didn’t understand why there were no female action films of this type and he thought that there would be an audience for this type of film.  God love the dude who has enough clout to say I want this to be my next film.  This film could open doors for more action parts for women.  The challenge for this film will be to get men and women to see this film.  I think that guys will like this because of the whole mixed martial arts connection.  But what’s good about this movie is that is does not sex up (though she is sexy) her part to get the dudes in.  It’s the action that will draw them in.  I think women are a bit harder.  Yes, there is a female lead, but it is pretty brutal action.  But what I would say is that women should see this as a equal opportunity film – the first time we kick ass as hard, if not harder, than the dudes.  That’s some serious girl power.

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Yes – great movie! What a strong female character! Finally! Thank you Mister Soderbergh. And besides my boyfriend loved it. He is strong enought to allow a strong female character in a movie and in real life.


I think this is already too much a politically correct genre. Surely all this "go girl" stuff is now lame. A man beating women over and over again throughout a film would be different and brave. Sadly, I think we are stuck in the Obamacentric Hollywood with tired movies like this.


"Game Changer" – ehh? Is this the latest media cliche?


I just saw it recently and it wasn't as good as I hoped. I was hoping for some kind of Bourne-lite film like Salt or Hannah was but the story wasn't interesting. Plus the cliff-hanger ending was lame all over. While Ms. Carrano has true fighting skills, her acting skills need work badly. No matter what the author says about Angelina Jolie or Zoe Saldana, at least their portrayals are convincing. Even though the movie was meh, hopefully Gina Caranno can get other parts with better written scripts and and use her paycheck to get real acting skills.


I'd like to see "Haywire" simply because I love movies where women get to f*** up everybody for a change (hell, we see men do it all the damn time, even when their fights are unrealistic as hell). I've been a big fan of Hong Kong action films where actresses have been doing their own martial arts/dangerous stunts for many years, so seeing a woman whip some a** onscreen is old news to me. It's cool that they cast a woman who's actually a real martial artist who can do her own stunts for a change—plus Soderburgh is one of the more intrieging directors of the last 20 years, because he's always managed to balance his arthouse/indie tendencies with his more commercial one, and still have a successful career, which is cool as hell, too.

And for those men complaining about "Oh, a woman can't kick a man's a$$, that's all fake"–hello-it's called "suspension of disbelief", which you should have EVERY time you watch an action film. Now go watch and enjoy the flick—I certainly will!


This film is a game changer on so many different levels. First of all, Carano is a believable fighter with a strong, athletic, and beautiful build. Unlike Jolie or Saldana, she does not look like she will break. Second, she's not overly sexualized. Michael Fassbender is the eye candy in the movie, the only one in a towel (and quite fine he is). Carano's character, Mallory, takes her shoes off before she fights–she doesn't stay in stilettos. Still, she takes advantage of her woman's body to use her powerful thigh muscles in fights. She has sex, cares about the guy, and is sad/angry when he's injured, yet the film's not about their relationship. In fact, much of the vengeance against her stems from a spurned, and greedy, male ex-lover. Mallory's smart, wily, skilled, and a survivor–and she's not a broken ex-victim like Lisbeth, socially awkward and filled with rage. Carano is a triumph, and I now have more respect for Soderbergh.


Guess the author never heard of Cynthia Rothrock!


I do think this film is a game changer….but only for Gina Carano. Not for women in general. I saw this movie opening night, and unfortunately, it's just not good enough. I am an mma fan, a film fan, and an action movie fan, and this movie didn't really deliver on any of those levels. The fights (save for the one with Michael Fassbender) were staged in such a way that they were too quick and frenetic to be entertaining. If you want to watch a good action movie, with a game changing performance by a woman, go to Netflix and check out the Thai action flick Chocolate. That's a movie with balls, in every catagory.


@Martin, with all due respect, if no one has a weapon – for the obvious reason that changes the situation. But if you are talking hand to hand combat, then if you had taken a self-defense class of any kind you would know that is not remotely correct. The human body has way too many weak spots. Groin (for men), eyes, nose, ears, to begin with. If you're fighting to live – as opposed to fighting in a boxing ring, then you can hurt someone well enough to stop the fight. Every woman has that ability, especially if she is trained. I'm not saying she'll necessarily "win," but you'll be blind in one eye, with a broken nose, ears ringing and your balls ripped off before she'll go down… You definitely would be with me if you tried to harm me. :)


Right, but we can have all the invincible action man movies with a male hero who takes on 6 or 7 guys at once or a guy 5 times bigger than himself and no one says anything. But have a woman action heroine and all the men get upset and insecure.


I'm pretty sure i can kick her ass (i know, not a cool thing to say). My point is that women kicking ass is just a ridiculous premise. It's even worse when they are fighting battles along men in period films, dear god. The average grown man is not a match for a woman unless she has a gun, i'm sorry.


I think 'Book of Eli' would have been a much better movie if the Directors had allowed Jennifer Beals to kick Gary Oldman all the way up & down his mean ass b4 she left with Denzel & Mila Kunis. I waited the entire film to see Ms Jennifer Beals do some action. I'm damned sure she's up for it. The bros wasted the sister's talent.


Could we please have some movies for women which are written by women. Because when you take a female character written by a man, cast, directed, costumed, filmed and edited by a man, you get a mans take on women and I am not going to pay money to see women through men's eyes. I prefer something more authentic to women's experience. An frankly if they did come up with a compelling woman character in an interesting plot I doubt any of the women in Hollywood who specialize in playing these male contrived female parts would be able to pull it off. You can see good women's entertainment in community theater where women control the system and actresses are picked for their acting talents rather than specific body parts.

straight man

what straight man would want to see a movie about a female kicking all the guys asses and imasculating them?? what is it about gay men who want women to "be the man" its unrealistic and just foolish.. soon hollywood will have the men in dresses in their movies. pathetic!


I absolutely loved this movie! Saw it at a screening, and talked to Soderbergh after. I hope there is a sequel, and I do hope this will open doors for more women, esp. of varying ethnicities.


This sounds good. I hope the star and director will really kick butt and give credit to the feminist movement as the inspiration for this film.


Definitely a game changer – WOW!! I'm not "in to" action movies so much, per se, but I was so excited by this I teared up watching the trailer. Similar to Girl with A Dragon Tattoo in a way, but this isn't a franchise. It's an original script written by a guy…who CHOSE to write a strong female protagonist, and a director who CHOSE to take a risk on the script AND cast a non-actress for her ability to KICK ASS, not show off her boobs. Can't wait to go see it!


This flick sucked! It was a low low low budget Salt and it was all over the place. I couldn’t stop laughing at how stupid the storyline and the acting was. And they left it open for a part 2. Please don’t bother.

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