“There’s something almost stunning about the straight-up realism in Haywire‘s fight scenes. Or nostalgic, I should say. As director Steven Soderbergh has acknowledged, the fight-scene realism is a kind of tribute to the train-compartment battle between Sean Connery and Robert Shaw in From Russia With Love (’63). Either you’ve seen and remembered what was great about that fight scene, or you haven’t.
“With their phony, fetishy, high-flying action-ballet bullshit, most Asian martial-arts films (efforts like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon excepted) get it so completely wrong, for whatever reason not understanding or unable to deliver Haywire‘s simple aesthetic.
“Soderbergh’s shooting and editing of the Haywire fight scenes is exquisite. Haywire is faster and more furious than Drive, but Soderbergh is clearly coming from the same ‘tone it down, think it through and make it real’ school of action cinema. At no time do Haywire‘s action scenes give you that awful feeling of being artificially adrenalized and jacked-up for the sake of coherence-defying Michael Bay-o sensation.” — from my 11.7.01 review.