Haywire (2011 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Theatrical release poster
Directed bySteven Soderbergh
Written byLem Dobbs
Produced byGregory Jacobs
CinematographyPeter Andrews
Edited byMary Ann Bernard
Music byDavid Holmes
Distributed byRelativity Media (United States)
Paramount Pictures[2]
Momentum Pictures[3] (United Kingdom and Ireland)
Release dates
  • November 6, 2011 (2011-11-06) (AFI Fest)
  • January 20, 2012 (2012-01-20) (United States)
Running time
93 minutes
CountriesUnited States
Budget$23 million[4]
Box office$34.5 million[4]

Haywire is a 2011 action thriller film directed by Steven Soderbergh and written by Lem Dobbs. The film stars Gina Carano as a black ops agent who is betrayed by her employers and targeted for assassination in a conspiracy she is forced to unravel. Carano, a mixed martial arts fighter, performs her own stunts in the film. Haywire also stars Michael Fassbender, Ewan McGregor, Bill Paxton, Channing Tatum, Antonio Banderas, and Michael Douglas. Its score is by DJ and composer David Holmes.

Haywire premiered on November 6, 2011 at the AFI Fest and received a wide release on January 20, 2012 by Relativity Media. It had a generally positive critical reception, with praise for its action, choreography, performances and Soderbergh's direction, but with some criticism levied at newcomer Carano's performance. The film grossed $34.5 million on a $23 million budget.


At an Upstate New York diner, Mallory Kane meets her associate Aaron. The two have a seemingly affable conversation, before Aaron demands she get in a car outside. When she refuses, he attacks her and pulls a gun, but she disarms and pistol whips him. Meanwhile Scott, a customer, had intervened to help Mallory, who proceeds to demand his car keys and that he get in his car to go away with her. As they flee, she explains who she is and what has happened to her.

Mallory explains that she and Aaron are operatives of a secretive private intelligence firm that handles highly sensitive black operations covertly so that their employers can maintain plausible deniability. One week earlier, the firm's director and Mallory's ex-boyfriend Kenneth gave her an assignment offered by CIA agent Coblenz; to rescue Jiang, a Chinese national being held hostage in a Barcelona apartment. Mallory and her team, including Aaron, successfully pull off the job and deliver the mark to a local contact named Rodrigo.

Upon returning to the United States, Mallory is approached by Kenneth with what he claims is a simple assignment: pose as the wife of MI6 agent Paul during a mission in Dublin. Mallory agrees and accompanies Paul to a party at Russborough House, where they meet with his contact, Studer. As Mallory watches from afar, she sees Paul go into a barn. Upon entering, she finds Jiang dead, clutching in his hand a brooch which Kenneth had insisted she wear as a recognition signal for her initial contact with Paul. Mallory realizes she is being set up.

On returning to their hotel room, Paul attacks Mallory and tries to kill her, but she manages to fend him off and shoot him dead. Checking Paul's phone, she redials a missed call only for Kenneth to pick up, asking if "the divorce was final". Kenneth realizes he's been made, and sends his agents after her. She narrowly avoids both of them and the police, escaping onto a ferry to England.

Mallory calls Rodrigo and demands to know if it was he or Kenneth who set her up. Rodrigo calls Coblenz, who then calls Mallory, telling her that he has had suspicions about Kenneth before claiming to arrange a meeting between the two in an Upstate New York diner. Coblenz then contacts Kenneth and tells him to inform Mallory's father, John, of her purported crimes.

In the present, Mallory and Scott are captured by police. Both are taken into custody but the police are ambushed and killed by Kenneth's men. Mallory manages to kill one of them and flees with Scott in one of the police cars. She releases Scott and leaves to meet with her father. She reaches his house in New Mexico before Kenneth, Aaron and two other men arrive to interrogate him about his daughter's whereabouts. Aaron receives a photograph on his phone of Jiang lying dead, and it dawns on him that Mallory might have been set up. He tries to press Kenneth for the truth, but Kenneth shoots him and escapes, as Mallory takes out Kenneth's other men. Aaron apologizes to Mallory before dying in her arms.

Mallory meets Coblenz, who reveals that he told Kenneth to contact Mallory's father, expecting that Kenneth would go to her father's house and that she would kill him there. Coblenz also gives her Kenneth's present location. Before they part, he offers her a job with the CIA, with her legal charges wiped. She says she will think about it and let him know after she has found Kenneth.

In Mexico, Mallory confronts Kenneth on a beach and they fight. Kenneth's foot becomes jammed between rocks. Unable to escape, he reveals that Jiang was a journalist who was being protected in a safe house after having exposed Studer's ties to a human trafficking ring. Knowing that Mallory planned to leave his firm, Kenneth arranged for her to kidnap Jiang and deliver him to Rodrigo, delivering him to Studer, where Paul killed him and left his body in the barn earlier. Kenneth framing Mallory, planning to cut all ties that could lead to him, tells Paul the cover story he would have in place after Paul had killed her in alleged self-defense. Ignoring Kenneth's pleas, Mallory leaves Kenneth to drown in the incoming tide.

A few days later, Mallory locates Rodrigo, who is on vacation in Majorca. She approaches him to confront him. He turns around to see her standing there ready to kill him as the film ends.



Film development was announced in September 2009[5] with the title Knockout, later changed to Haywire.[6] The screenplay was written to be shot in Dublin. The film was shot mostly in Ireland, with principal photography spanning from February 2, 2010 to March 25, 2010 with a budget of approximately $25 million.


In preparation for her role, Gina Carano underwent a six-week intensive tactical training course with former Duvdevan Unit officer Aaron Cohen,[citation needed] who has a cameo appearance in the finished film. She spent three hours a day in stunts and three hours a day with Cohen. During a particularly harrowing two-week period when Cohen was teaching Carano the art of surveillance and counter-surveillance, he and his team tracked her via a GPS system installed in her car.

Two locations[7] included the former homes of Ireland’s Leeson family who as the Earls of Milltown were once described as “Arch Rebels” of the ascendancy.[8] These included the interior of palatial Russborough House, where Paul and Mallory attend a party, and exterior of the Kildare Street and University Club, which Mallory passes while being tailed at St. Stephen’s Green.

The film was originally set to be released in late 2010, but re-shoots and a change in distributor from Lionsgate to Relativity Media delayed it for more than a year. During the intervening period, Soderbergh filmed and edited Contagion, which was ultimately released over a month in advance.[9] Soderbergh reportedly clashed with Lionsgate, which wanted a more action-centric film in the vein of the Bourne series, while Soderbergh had intended a spy thriller interspersed with lengthy, realistic fight scenes.[10] Following the change in distributor, Soderbergh's re-shoots and re-edits focused on reshaping the film to be more in line with his original vision.[11]

During post-production, some of Carano's voice was overdubbed by actress Laura San Giacomo.[12]


David Holmes composed the score for the film and had worked with Steven Soderbergh on various other projects such as Out of Sight and the Ocean's trilogy.


Critical response[edit]

The film received generally positive reviews from critics. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 80% based on 199 reviews. The site's critical consensus reads, "MMA star and first-time actress Gina Carano displays ample action-movie chops in Haywire, a fast-paced thriller with a top-notch cast and outstanding direction from Steven Soderbergh."[13] Metacritic gives it a weighted average score of 67/100 based on reviews from 40 critics.[14] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "D+" on an A+ to F scale.[15]

Claudia Puig of USA Today stated that the film was "a vigorous spy thriller that consistently beckons the viewer to catch up with its narrative twists and turns. Bordering on convoluted, it works best when in combat mode."[16] Andrew O'Hehir of Salon.com shared a similar view, saying "Haywire is a lean, clean production, shot and edited by Soderbergh himself and utterly free of the incoherent action sequences and overcooked special effects that plague similarly scaled Hollywood pictures."[17]

Richard Corliss of Time said "Carano is her own best stuntwoman, but in the dialogue scenes she's all kick and no charisma. The MMA battler lacks the conviction she so forcefully displayed in the ring. She is not Haywire's heroine but its hostage."[18] Keith Uhlich of Time Out New York wrote, "There's shockingly little thrill in watching Carano bounce off walls and pummel antagonists."[19]

Box office[edit]

Haywire was released on January 20, 2012 with an opening weekend gross of $8.4 million,[20] and has earned $18.9 million in the United States and $34.5 million worldwide.[4]

Home media[edit]

Haywire was released on DVD and Blu-ray disc on May 1, 2012.[21]


  1. ^ "Haywire (2011) - Financial Information". The Numbers. Retrieved April 2, 2021.
  2. ^ "Haywire (2012)". Irish Film Classification Office. Retrieved October 9, 2021.
  3. ^ "Haywire (2011)". BBFC. Retrieved November 26, 2021.
  4. ^ a b c "Haywire (2012)". Box Office. Internet Movie Database. March 27, 2012. Retrieved April 29, 2012.
  5. ^ "UPDATE: Steven Soderbergh's Next Movie is a Knockout". ComingSoon.net. September 7, 2009. Retrieved July 22, 2011.
  6. ^ Brunsting, Joshua (June 22, 2010). "Steven Soderbergh's Full Frontal Now Available On Netflix Watch Instantly. Soderbergh's Knockout, Now Titled Haywire, Gets Early Test Screening". Retrieved July 22, 2011.
  7. ^ "Internet Movie Database (IMDb)". IMDb.
  8. ^ Leeson, Francis (Frank) Leo (October 1968). "The Milltown Leesons Arch Rebels of the Ascendancy?". Irish Genealogical Research Society (IGRS). Retrieved May 23, 2021.
  9. ^ "Gina Working on Haywire Reshoots". MMA Gina Carano Fan Site. Retrieved June 15, 2019.
  10. ^ Edelstein, David. "Movie Review: Haywire, or The Vindictive Ex-Girlfriend Experience". Vulture. Retrieved April 4, 2020.
  11. ^ "Steven Soderbergh On Haywire And Creating The Anti-James Bond Heroine". CINEMABLEND. January 19, 2012. Retrieved June 15, 2019.
  12. ^ Robinson, Joanna (November 29, 2019). "The Mandalorian's Gina Carano Thought She Was Playing a Wookiee". Vanity Fair. Retrieved August 31, 2021.
  13. ^ "Haywire". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved October 5, 2021.
  14. ^ "Haywire". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved December 15, 2013.
  15. ^ Ross, Dalton (January 23, 2012). "Haywire' gets a D+ CinemaScore grade: What gives?". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 8, 2012.
  16. ^ Claudia Puig (January 19, 2012). "Electric fight scenes make 'Haywire' work". USA Today. Archived from the original on January 20, 2012.
  17. ^ O'hehir, Andrew (January 20, 2012). "Pick of the week: The ultimate female action hero". Salon. Retrieved January 20, 2012.
  18. ^ Corliss, Richard (January 19, 2012). "Soderbergh's Haywire: Good workout, not so good movie". Time. Retrieved October 15, 2020.
  19. ^ Ulrich, Keith. "Review: Haywire". Time Out New York. Retrieved October 15, 2020.
  20. ^ Subers, Ray (January 22, 2012). "Weekend Report: 'Underworld' Fends Off Soarin' 'Red Tails'". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved March 3, 2013.
  21. ^ "Haywire". Bluray.HighDefDigest.com. Retrieved August 22, 2012.

External links[edit]