Hey everyone. Welcome back to NoFaceNorm’s Grammatically Unsound Movie Reviews. I hope your respective, non-denominational holidays served you well.
Believe it or not, despite what most critics would like you to think, we’re actually humans, and we actually have emotions. As such, our own biases might make us lean one way or another, and in turn they affect the end result of our reviews. The following critique is a perfect example of this, as – since I was a kid – I have always held a certain preference.
A preference, that is, for tough chicks. Not to be confused with “buff” women.
Please, do yourself a favor and don’t ask.
Naturally, this shoves me straight into the key demographic for a movie like Haywire (2011). Despite its convoluted plot made worse by a narrative half-told in flashbacks, it all takes the backseat to the main selling point: your action heroine stands as a professional in the business of kicking ass.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Uh, you gave Colombiana a bad review, genius. You must be some kind of moron.”
But that is exactly my point. The whole “femme fatale” thing is a gimmick that’s been done to death. Every now and then, we see a new spin on it, as in the case of The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo, Hanna or Kill Bill, but usually it’s all the same formula that just shouts: “Hey, stupid, give us your money.”
You could summarize it like this:
Action + Hot Lady = $
It doesn’t really get any more complicated than that. Unfortunately, what we’ve learned from films like Colombiana or Salt (Starring Angelina Jolie) is that this formula is starting to become a tiny bit transparent.
When you cast a suitably attractive woman as your “token contract murderer” it looks particularly awkward when she hyperextends her knees to kick, stiffens up her shoulders to punch, and turns her palms inward when she puts up her dukes (seriously, they always do that). It looks a little incongruent when your government-sanctioned killing machine seems to be so wary of breaking her nails. Seasoned fighter or not, you subconsciously pick up on these things.
So, in the end, these women aren’t tough. They’re just doing a bad job of acting tough. To quote Socrates, “Just because you put syrup on shit, doesn’t make it pancakes.”
Despite the whole “Now I will kill you” part, this really doesn’t seem so bad.
But here comes a new spin on an old formula:
Movie Exec 1: “What if we took an actual fighter, and taught her how to act?”
Movie Exec 2: “Fighters don’t make good actors, we’ve done it before.”
Movie Exec 1: “But, she’ll play a contractor – she doesn’t have to act! Her character lives sans emotions!”
Movie Exec 2: “Erm, but wouldn’t that take a subtle sense of complexity – the kind that can only be expressed and known through experience?”
Movie Exec 1: “No.”
Movie Exec 2: “Rick, I like your style.”
And that’s pretty much it. That’s what makes this Haywire (2011) feel so authentic. Instead of trying to get some “normie” to play a martial artist, they get a martial artist to play a martial artist! It’s F’ing genius!
Read about the verdict after the jump…
- Yell! Rating (x/5 Skulls):
- Year Released:
- 20 January 2012
- Steven Soderbergh
- Gina Carano, Ewan McGregor, Channing Tatum, Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas, Eddie J. Fernandez, Aaron Cohen, Maximino Arciniega, and Michael Fassbender
- Action, Thriller
- Official URL:
- Haywire (2011)
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