So today, I saw Haywire, because apparently my theme for 2012 is "Gale sees spy movies".

You do not need a plot for this movie. It is straight-up "Steven Soderbergh made a middling spy movie where Gina Carrano beats the hell out of all the dudes." That is it! This is not complicated! It is sort of soothing!

--no, really. It's a complete 180 from Tinker Tailor, which was the last movie I saw (UGH UGH ALL MY EVERYTHINGS), where everything was smart and labyrinthine and wheels-within-wheels, combined with subtitles and the 1970s. This...this is not that. This is just a former MMA fighter beating up on dudes. That's enough for me! Not hard to shop for sometimes! Remember, my entire endorsement of Inglourious Basterds boiled down to "sometimes you need 2.5 hours of Quentin Tarantino killing Nazis".

Couple points:

* Gina Carrano is physically really great. I have no idea why Soderbergh either--I read somewhere he either dubbed in her voice or put it through a filter? But it makes her performance just--okay? Definitely more stilted. Physically, though, she is amazing. Put her and Zoe Bell in a movie and I would watch it all fucking day. Also, if you aren't gonna ever use Gina Torres for Wonder Woman--and you totally should, because GINA TORRES--you should consider Carrano, once she's had acting lessons. Lady looks like an Amazon, in the best way. Her in that black dress in Dublin? Oh, man.

* I have never seen Channing Tatum act before. Now that I have, I--dude, spit out the marbles. NO. That said, I like his line reads, and in interviews he's great, but just--come on, Mumbles, enunciate. It's not hard.

(Also, when he's kissing Carano, all I could think was, "But your wife is tiny and hot and awesome! As is Jamie Bell!" And then I remembered that he does not, in fact, live in a polyamorous relationship with his wife and Jamie Bell, and I was sad.)

* Ewan McGregor is basically Dorian Gray at this point. Can we admit that? That guy's gonna look 40 'til he hits 75 or some shit, then BAM! mid-seventies all at once. He is great as Mallory's backstabbing ex-employer/ex-boyfriend, and when she leaves him to drown with his leg pinned between two rocks on a Mexican beach like it's the end of Creepshow? GENIUS.

* Michael Fassbender, you eat a goddamn sandwich.

(No, seriously. He's looked like that since Hunger; like, his waist nips in now? Which is, I guess, a side-effect of when you starve yourself playing Bobby Sands, but he always looks like someone went in in post and Photoshopped out part of his side, and just--seriously, sandwiches, get some.)

UGH ALL THE FIC ABOUT PAUL, PLEASE. Don't even judge me, this is legit the other reason I went to this movie. He drinks Guinness! He is efficient with a gun! He uses his own accent, because you can hear a brogue for three seconds! And the fight between him and Carrano is--he's in fifteen minutes of the movie. BEST FIFTEEN MINUTES OR BEST FIFTEEN MINUTES, Y/Y? Ugh, you guys, she chokes him out WITH HER THIGHS and then shoots him in the head.

(Best theater-going moment in recent history: the girl sitting next to me--which, why? It's a matinee, there are 20 of us in a 150-seat theater--with her boyfriend, spotting Fassbender coming out in just a towel and muttering, "Jesus Christ." Right there with you, lady.)

Seriously. Can we have fic about Paul and Wesley already? That's--we're on that already, fandom, right? Hired killers! Boyfriends! JESUS CHRIST I ALREADY HAVE THINGS TO WRITE THIS YEAR, DON'T DO ME LIKE THIS.

* I love that no one in this movie, except the staties who bring Mallory in in New York, treat like Mallory like anything other than a professional. At one point, Paul says he's never done a woman before--shut up, I snickered--and Kenneth (McGregor) says that to think of her as a woman would be a mistake. And it is; at this level, you stop being men and women and start being assets. She wouldn't have the rep she has, and Kenneth wouldn't be freaked the fuck out that she's still alive, if she wasn't really, really fucking good at her job.

* No one expects the deer! You will not expect the deer! Then BAM OH SHIT THERE'S A DEER IN THE CAR.

* Also? The fights in this movie are mean. Cat-dirt mean. The one with Paul in the hotel stands out, but when Aaron tosses hot coffee in her face? Or that whole thing with the Garda in Dublin? The music cuts out when the fights start, which is a nice touch, and kicks back in when she goes back to leaping across rooftops like a mountain goat.

So: good way to turn your brain off for 90 minutes, and there's something satisfying about seeing a woman take on men - in an action movie, no less - and hand them their butts. Don't expect anything earth-shattering, and you should be just fine.
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