has an average rating of 6.1 on IMDb
1080p in AVC MPEG-4 on a 50gb disc
DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
short & worthwhile with Digital Copy
– 93 minutes
This uses 25.0GB for the movie out of 33.9GB total.
Overall Verdict – Recommended
— Review written by: Justin Sluss —
The Movie Itself was directed by Steven Soderbergh, best known for directing the films “Traffic” (2000), “Ocean’s Eleven” (2001), “Ocean’s Twelve” (2004), “Oceans Thirteen” (2007) and more recently “Contagion” (2011). The screenplay was written by Lem Dobbs, best known for writing the screenplay to the film “Dark City” from 1998.
The story revolves around a very beautiful and tough young lady named “Mallory Kane” (played by MMA fighter Gina Carano). Mallory is a highly trained former Marine that now works as a privately hired government operative (black-ops agent) for a man named “Kenneth” (played by Ewan McGregor). Mallory and Kenneth previously had a relationship for a year prior to when this begins and she’s working her last few missions here, one namely in Barcelona with a partner (played by Channing Tatum) freeing a Chinese journalist. This is the point Mallory tells Kenneth she wants out. He promises her she can get out of the business if she just does this last mission in Europe in conjunction with the British MI-6. She’ll be working posing as the wife of a MI-6 agent “Paul” (played by Michael Fassbender). They go forth with the mission posing as a couple at a party in Dublin. Mallory doesn’t trust her partner on this mission one bit and puts a GPS tracking hack on his phone. Once the two go their separate ways at the party she uses an application on her phone to track him. She makes a very disturbing discovery there. She manages to find a dead body, one she recognizes as the Chinese journalist that she worked on freeing on her previous mission in Barcelona. It’s at this point she knows something is going dreadfully wrong.
Once Mallory and the MI-6 agent (Paul) get back to the hotel room they tangle in one hell of a fight and she leaves him out of commission (so-to-speak). She cleans up from the fight, changes her close and tries to make herself a bit less recognizable. She leaves the hotel and proceeds to make a run for it, knowing that she has been double crossed here by someone at her agency — not just the MI-6 agent. She also knows that she’s being followed and eventually has to hold off the local authorities’ SWAT teams as she tries to make her escape. Things have definitely went “haywire” here, hence the film’s title. Mallory will have to do everything she can to make it back home to the United States safely and eventually find out who was responsible for double crossing her. Thankfully for her she’s been trained her whole life by first her father (played by Bill Paxton), a fellow Marine, and eventually as a black-ops. She’ll have to kick ass and take names later; once she’s made it back home.
That sets up the plot to this film. Telling you much more would pretty much (in my opinion) be dishing you out “spoilers”, so I won’t. I will however mention some of the actors that co-star in this film. First, you have a guy named “Scott” (played by Michael Angarano) she met in the opening diner scene of the film and holds hostage as she uses his car to make an escape. Next you have some bigger named actors like Antonio Banderas playing a Spanish contact named “Rodrigo“, Michael Douglas playing a government agent named “Coblenz” as well as Bill Paxton (I mentioned earlier) playing Mallory’s father. These actors give some pretty short performances but they prove to be memorable.
I’ll make this quick and definitely to the point; much like the film. “Haywire” proves to be one ass-kicking good time from start to finish. I must admit not only does Gina Carano kick a lot of ass here but she looks damn good in the process of doing so. She’s very easy on the eyes and not a bad actress either. The story can be a tad bit complex but most cases of someone being screwed over and the details involving why usually are. Director Steven Soderbergh manages to deliver an intense and smart action film here with some amazing use of the original Score (music) done by David Holmes to help set the mood throughout. Holmes had worked with Soderbergh previously on all three of the “Ocean’s” films and it shouldn’t be too hard to tell as this sounds a tad bit similar in ways. Gotta say this is a recommended title, at least make it a rental if you’re skeptical in my taste. The video quality and audio quality below make it worthy of a purchase though if you decide to “throw all your chips in” so-to-speak, however the bonus materials are a tad bit short. More below on all that.
Video Quality on this release is in full 1080p using the AVC MPEG-4 codec on a BD-50 (50 gigabyte dual-layered Blu-ray Disc) in the 2.40:1 aspect ratio. According to IMDb‘s technical specifications for the aspect ratio this was shot digitally in 4.5K resolution using the Red One MX camera. This really translates nicely to Hi-Def with lots of detail. The black level is solid. Fleshtones are accurate. The color palette is a tad bit subdued to fit the visual style. There’s some change-ups between cool and warm tones as well as the occasional flashes to Black & White. This all blends together quite nicely and I have to say the cinematography here itself by DP (director of photography) Peter Andrews (actually Steven Soderbergh himself) is absolutely great. The visual presentation is very crisp and clean, making it a great example of what the Blu-ray Disc format can deliver. The choice to shoot the film digitally on the Red One MX camera really paid off and as a result I’m giving this an impressive “4.5 Star Rating” for overall video quality.
Audio Quality on this release is presented in DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio. As I mentioned above in the section about the movie itself this film is heavily driven by the original Score (music) composed by David Holmes. His music starts the film up nicely with a subtle sense letting the dialogue and sound effects get the most of the mix but does have an excellent amount of rear surround and LFE presence here. The dialogue is delivered “spot on” through the front center channel and never once is drowned out by any of the action throughout the film. This 5.1 lossless mix can be somewhat intense at times, especially early on in the opening scene with every little sound effect in the diner getting loud and abrasive, realistic representations. The first fight sequence is pretty quiet in ways but still packs some punch to it and holds its intensity. Once things progress in the film you’ll see what I mean about the music setting the mood. Around 11 minutes in the film will start to be driven almost entirely (for a while) by the music with faint (almost slightly muffled, on purpose) sound effects such as explosions and gunfire. This will last a good roughly 6 minutes or so and is very cool of an effect that you’ll be treated to again later in the film. All and all the Score here is what stands out but this does have some occasional loud monstrous sound effects that will surely leave your subwoofer thumping the room quite a bit throughout the film. It’s a thumping, ass-kicking good time from start to finish with fitting music to carry things along. This earns itself an impressive “4.5 Star Rating” for overall audio quality.
Bonus Materials on this release are ALL presented in full 1080p Hi-Def (HD) video quality with Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo @192kbps sound.
- “Gina Carano in Training” (16:03 – HD) is a featurette that includes interviews with Gina Carana (obviously), some footage from her first MMA (mixed martial arts) fight, on set behind-the-scenes footage of her doing her fight sequences and most importantly (as the title suggests) her training with guns and for the fight scenes. An interview with director Steven Soderbergh (taken from AFI Fest 2011) is included where he discusses first seeing her fight in a MMA fight on television and wanting to do a film with her. She herself discusses Soderbergh approaching her to do the film project and how quickly it came to be. There’s interviews with her trainer Aaron Cohen and fight choreographer JJ Perry. Also interviews here with the men she ends up fighting in the film like Michael Fassbender, Channing Tatum and Ewan McGregor discussing the fight scenes they did with Gina — essentially how much she kicked their asses. Good stuff.
- “The Men of Haywire” (5:29 – HD) includes interviews with the male co-stars Michael Fassbender, Ewan McGregor, Channing Tatum and Antonio Banderas. They again discuss how much ass Gina Carano kicks in the film and what it was like working with director Steven Soderbergh. There’s also some more on set behind-the-scenes footage included here.
- A Digital Copy of the film is included via a URL and redemption code on a paper insert included in the packaging. This digital copy is ONLY compatible with iTunes portable media devices as well as both Mac and PC computers.
Overall the bonus materials here prove to be a tad bit short but are still worthwhile none-the-less. It may be frustrating to some that the digital copy here is ONLY compatible with iTunes portable media devices but maybe they should consider that Windows Media portable devices are kind of outdated anyway. All and all, if you enjoyed the film you’ll enjoy the bit of supplemental materials you get here that total up to roughly 22 minutes in length.
Blu-ray Disc packaging:
NOTE: The full-sized 1920×1080 files are in a .PNG file format and uncompressed. Please be patient with the slow loading times, keep in mind these files are at least 1MB (1 megabyte) in size each.