If anything, Haywire is most closely linked to last year's "Contagion," a kindred effort in style, theme, and value-marring detachment.
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Pummeling forward from its first diner-set fight scene to a sweeping final showdown on the beach, Haywire is a literal blast.
This is one of the director's mainstream efforts, although his penchant for the offbeat and oddly artistic has not been completely reined in. But there's plenty of unsparing, bone-crunching violence to dismiss the idea that Soderbergh is making an art film in disguise.
Paring down narrative and character concerns in favor of a breathtaking application of pure thriller technique, Soderbergh's latest picture is a lean, efficient exercise tossed off with his customary sangfroid and wickedly dry sense of humor.
There's shockingly little thrill in watching Carano bounce off walls and pummel antagonists.
Where faux-empowering "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" confines sexual power play to the old rape-revenge matrix, Haywire is a real war-of-the-sexes tournament, briskly paced with a tickling sense of black humor.
Haywire makes no sense whatsoever, which should come as no surprise. It's the latest brainless exercise in self-indulgence from Steven Soderbergh, whose films rarely make any sense anyway.
The script makes no attempt to assert its plausibility or realism; it is, instead, refreshingly frank about what it is, a simple, workable framework for the melees and mayhem.