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Category:    Home > Reviews > Spy > Action > Adventure > Espionage > Middle East > Haywire (2012/Lionsgate Blu-ray)/The Order (2001/Sony/Image Blu-ray)

Haywire (2012/Lionsgate Blu-ray)/The Order (2001/Sony/Image Blu-ray)


Picture: B-     Sound: B-     Extras: C/D     Films: C+/D



Action films have seen some changes, but often remain basically more the same, even when they have something smarter going on.  Here are two releases that show this.



Steven Soderbergh’s Haywire (2012) is a spy/action vehicle designed to be a showcase for Gina Carano to become an action star.  It is not great, but not bad and she is good.  Working on a special mission, she is pursued by a fellow agent (Channing Tatum) who is not on her side, but once might have been.  She has to think fast and kidnaps a man at a diner (Michael Angarano) to survive, then we see some of the story in flashback which she is telling him so he knows the truth in case she is killed and to be able to both understand what is going on and save himself.


The mission involves some players and spymasters in the field (Michael Douglas, Ewan McGregor, Antonio Banderas) and she is sent in with a fellow agent (Michael Fassbinder) to finish the mission they have been sent into, but she gets suspicious and things start to go wrong.  She has her former spy/book author father (Bill Paxton) to fall back on eventually, but the body of the story I set up for action.  Though this comes up a little short, everyone is good here and it is worth a look.


Extras include Digital Copy for PC and PC portable devices and the disc itself adds two Making Of featurettes.



Sheldon Lettich’s The Order (2001) was one of the films where Jean-Claude Van Damme’s box office staying power was finally shown to have permanently faded and this time, he is going to the Middle East (this would not have likely been made after the 9/11 attacks) and Jerusalem in particular to get a valuable artifact.  He even has Charlton Heston with him (who does the opening narration), but this is just flat, boring, dull, bad and not even Heston could save it.  Ben Cross and Sofia Milos also star, but this is the point where Van Damme though he was invincible and instead, was seeing his career wind up.  He also co-wrote this, which was a very big mistake and even the action sequences are bad, over-choreographed and silly.  There are no extras.



The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Haywire and 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Order are about even, despite the fact that the former is an HD shoot with some styling and the latter was shot on 35mm film.  The problem is that Order shows its age and the age of the materials used for the transfer, so only expect so much.


The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mixes on both Blu-rays are also evenly matched, but have different limits.  Haywire is more quiet and has only some moments where the soundfield kicks in, which works for the narrative, while Order has its mix towards the front speakers in part because the sound is down a generation like the image and that is apparently pulling the original mix’s soundfield off-center.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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