Every few years Soderbergh releases a shoestring budget independent film in which he gets to show off how much he can do with so little. The trouble with this experiment is that so far films such as The Girlfriend Experience, Bubble and Full Frontal (despite star turns from Julia Roberts and Catherine Keener) have largely disappointed.
The action feels rushed and the storylines are ones no Hollywood studio would touch with a barge pole. These are complaints that can't be said of Haywire, Soderbergh's most ambitions low-budget film to date.
Its plot, revolving around a former black ops soldier who gets set up to take a fall by her former government employers, is pure popcorn fodder. Although Carano, who plays the main role, is an unknown champion cage fighter, the rest of the cast contains several blockbuster luminaries: McGregor, Fassbender, Antonio Banderas and Michael Douglas.
The sometime James Bond contributor David Holmes provides the electronic score. Yet despite all these credentials, Haywire suffers from a lack of gloss. The fights may be realistic but they lack oomph, the plot packed with double bluff feels forced and the action is surprisingly pedestrian, despite the actors' best efforts.