Though Carano isn't without a certain glowering charisma, her flat line readings and apparent discomfort with dialogue-heavy exchanges make her seem like a refugee from a different, schlockier movie...
"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.
The pleasure of this small, eccentric movie is the natural way Carano hurts people - by, say, walking partway up a wall and climbing onto a man's back, by sprinting toward the camera and flying into the human target standing in the foreground.
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.
Carano is cool and in control, even after running, in real time, several blocks and pummeling a guy in an alley. But "Haywire," clean and no-fuss as it is, needs more action scenes to match Carano's game.
Right up to the film's comically abrupt ending, it's all about Mallory's strength, speed and uncanny ability to survive. A dismissive cop, early on, refers to her as "Wonder Woman"; turns out he's not kidding.