Carano projects an intriguing aura in her dramatic-acting debut - part smoky, dark-haired sexuality, part bruiser, with an uninflected alto voice that cuts through crap.
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.
As cartoonish live-action and photorealistic cartoons reign at the multiplex, all but obsoleting the laws of gravity, Haywire puts the impact back into screen violence, brings it back to earth.
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.
Carano may not be a born or a natural actress; she is, however, an undeniable and heartening rebuke to the skinny-Minnies Hollywood favors over real women with curves.
There's a good deal of pleasure to be had in the clockwork precision of her hand-to-hand combat, which Soderbergh often shoots in profile to showcase her wall-climbing backflips.
The whole point of this time-wasting farrago of idiocy is that women can cut, kick, slash, burn, maim and kill just like men -- and make bad movies that are just as stupid.