Steven Soderbergh is an interesting throwback to directors of yore, in that he is far less precious with his career than many of his contemporaries, and seems to regard the medium of film as inherently a place to explore, and play around. This means not only that he’s rather astonishingly prolific, but also engages in willful genre experiments (the Ocean’s trilogy, certainly, as well as something like Solaris, and even Contagion), plus low-fi adventures like Full Frontal, Bubble and The Girlfriend Experience. Rather than own one genre or mood, Soderbergh lets them intermittently possess him, all while putting his own stamp of personality on narrative material.
His latest film, Haywire, is more of the mindset of the former, but also exhibits some of the seat-of-the-pants inclinations of some of the latter, aforementioned DIY productions. Built around MMA fighter Gina Carano, it’s an action movie, at once lithe and bruising, but also a sort of character piece chess game, in which the personalities of the participants and the stylishness of its telling matter more than its junky, familiar, high-calorie revenge plot. For the full, original review, from ShockYa, click here. (Relativity, R, 93 minutes)