Haywire (2011)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 26-Jul-2012

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Featurette-Men of Haywire
Trailer-x 3 - for other films
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2011
Running Time 88:54
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Steven Soderbergh

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Gina Carano
Michael Angarano
Channing Tatum
Debby Lynn Ross
Michael Douglas
Antonio Banderas
Ewan McGregor
Case ?
RPI ? Music David Holmes

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (256Kb/s)
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 (256Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

†††† Mallory Kane (Gina Carano) works for a shadowy black ops private company run by Kenneth (Ewan McGregor). When the company is hired for a job by government figure Coblenz (Michael Douglas), Mallory and a team including Aaron (Channing Tatum) are sent to Barcelona where they successfully rescue a dissident journalist being held hostage and hand him over to Rodrigo (Antonio Banderas). Mallory had been in a relationship with Kenneth, but now she is tired both of him and his company and seeks to quit. However against her better judgment she is persuaded by Kenneth to undertake one last assignment in Dublin with British operative Paul (Michael Fassbender). But the operation is not what it seems: Mallory finds the dissident she had rescued in Barcelona shot dead and is attacked by Paul. On the run Mallory has to escape her pursuers, try to work out why she has been targeted and decide just who to trust.

†††† TrevorD reviewed the Blu-ray of Haywire on this site here. Trevor noted that it can be difficult to identify a Steven Soderbergh film by genre, such is the eclectic nature of his output, from small independent films to mainstream. This is certainly true, although Soderberghís films do often have a similar style and Haywire, a full on Bourne type espionage thriller, is not dissimilar in style to Out of Sight, his 1998 crime / action film starring George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez, that is a totally hip and sexy film, and one I enjoyed a lot. Both films feature strong female roles, a jumbled chronology where the plot is slowly revealed, use of colour to code various locations and a score by David Holmes that is instantly recognisable as belonging to the same family.

†††† Thus Haywire starts part way through the plot when we meet Mallory waiting in a diner in upstate New York and the details of the Barcelona and Dublin operations are revealed in flashback. The scenes in the US are shot with a blue filter, not inappropriate given the snowy landscape, while the Barcelona sequences have a definite brown look. Other sequences have a yellow look (Washington and Mexico) while the Dublin ones are more natural, with a touch of grey. As the lead, Carano is very attractive and looks good in a dress but is one tough woman. For an action film her acting is acceptable but, unlike other action films with a female lead such as Colombiana (2011), that have their female in revealing clothing at times, Haywire allows Carano to wear sensible gear and to show off her obvious fighting abilities. This is one woman who is very believable taking out the men with punches and kicks, and not a little Muay Thai, and her skills allows the camera to get in close during the frenetic action sequences. The men in Haywire play supporting roles although one must say that Soderbergh has gathered an amazing group of men including Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender, Antonio Banderas, Michael Douglas, Bill Paxton and Channing Tatum; truly a supporting cast any action lead would savour.

†††† Haywire is a thinking personís thriller with excellent action sequences. It is a tense espionage thriller that features a tough female lead who can fight, a jumbled chronology where the plot is slowly revealed, the use of colour to code various locations and an impressive score by David Holmes. Haywire is well worth a look.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality


†††† Haywire was shot on the RED digital camera, is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, the original theatrical ratio, and is 16x9 enhanced.

†††† Soderbergh uses natural light and, as noted, he does play with the colour scheme. A lot of the film, especially the action sequences, is shot hand held. The result is a jumpy print that varies in sharpness and contrast, especially when the light source is behind the actors. Shadow detail is sometimes a bit indistinct. However, this is the way the film was shot, not the authoring of the DVD. Indoor scenes and close-ups are sharp and detailed. There is a bit of ghosting with movement, especially against vertical lines in the background, but otherwise no artefacts were apparent.

†††† There are English subtitles for the hearing impaired, and also white subtitles which occur automatically to translate the few lines of Spanish.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


†††† Audio is a choice of English Dolby Digital 5.1 at 448 Kbps, English Dolby Digital 2.0 at 256 Kbps plus an English descriptive audio at 256 Kbps for the vision impaired.

†††† The audio track is good. Dialogue is mostly easy to hear and understand, except some of Tatumís lines. The surrounds are effective but not overdone. They provide ambient sound, such as ocean waves, vehicles and people, plus music and give a nice enveloping feel in the chase and action sequences with bumps and crashes. The sub-woofer added a little bass to action and music.

††††Lip synchronisation was fine.

†††† The original score by David Holmes provides effective support to the visuals.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


†††† On start-up the following trailers play and need to be skipped: Lockout (1:29), The Cabin in the Woods (2:14) and Chernobyl Diaries (2:24). They cannot be selected from the extras menu.

Men of Haywire (5:15)

†††† An EPK with interview snippets with Michael Fassbender, Ewan McGregor, Channing Tatum and Antonio Banderas plus some film and on set footage.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

†††† The US Region 1 release of Haywire is basically similar to ours but includes Spanish subtitles plus the second featurette ďGina Carano in TrainingĒ (16 minutes approx.) that was available on our Blu-ray release, but not this DVD. Trevor in his review thought it was worthwhile so on that basis the Region 1 release wins.


†††† Haywire is a tense espionage thriller that features a tough female lead, a jumbled chronology, the use of colour to code various locations and an impressive score. Haywire is a thinking personís thriller, and well worth a look.

†††† The audio is good, the video as Steven Soderbergh intended. Extras are limited to one short piece.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Thursday, September 13, 2012
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE