The opening scene of Steven Soderbergh’s upcoming action film Haywire was recently posted over at Hulu. It gives viewers but a taste of the brutal fisticuffs that await them come opening day. It takes place in a diner, where Gina’s character Mallory Kane has her morning coffee interrupted by Aaron (Channing Tatum). It starts out in a fairly mundane manner, with Tatum delivering his lines in drowsy fashion (I can’t tell if he’s doing so intentionally or if he’s simply being himself). At the 3:07 mark, the things suddenly erupt into a brutal and destructive scrap. The lead character is mercilessly beaten before turning the tables and her opponent and pounds him into the linoleum.
The musical score sounds lifted from a 1970’s cop show or detective movie. Interestingly, the action plays out completely free of musical accompaniment. That choice greatly enhances the animalistic brutality. The way that Aaron tears into Mallory is stunning indeed, and totally justifies the unexpected heroics of the Good Samaritans that come to her aid. Even a waitress gets in on the act. There is a hint of humor lying just underneath, though it’s unclear whether that is intentional or not. This is the kind of extreme violence that will elicit winces from some and nervous laughter from others.