WANTED (***) - Starring James McAvoy, Angelina Jolie, Morgan Freeman, Terence Stamp, Thomas Kretschmann and Common.
Directed by Timur Bekmambetov.
This wild ride of a movie is based on a comic book series, and if you didn't already know that the first few minutes into the movie, you'd know it based on how stylized the whole thing is. The movie isn't trying to be realistic, but it is trying to be fun, putting Fight Club, Matrix and Harry Potter in a blender and hitting Frappe.
James McAvoy, a long way from Mr. Tumnus, is our hero Welsey Gibson, such a loser than his name in Google gets no hits. Although my theory is that the Fraternity was rigging his computer to do that, because Welsey Gibson actually yields 142,000 hits (the first few related to the 'Wanted' character, but if the movie addressed that, it would be eating its own tail.)
He finds out his long-lost father died yesterday, and he was one of the best assassins in the world. He finds this out from a beautiful woman named Fox (wink!) who instantly gets into a gun fight with the man who killed his father. She then brings him to the Fraternity, a secret organization of assassins run by a mellifluous man named Sloan, played by the almighty Morgan Freeman.
Bullets fly in this movie like they have a mind of their own, like they could hover in mid-air and then change direction in a Looney Tunes cartoon. Blood splatters nicely against white walls, and the action scenes get the blood pumping.
This movie dared bill McAvoy first even though Jolie and Freeman are the big names, but this is where McAvoy really comes into his own, for my taste, as a movie star. Yes, he was very good in Atonement, and he was very different in Narnia, but I can remember him better from this. It's fun to watch him go from pathetic office drone to top-notch rootin'-tootin' shooter.