Sunday, June 29, 2008

WANTED: "What the f*ck have you done lately?"

Suffice to say Angelina Jolie has been a bit of a secret idol of mine. Typically, when people knock her, (for brad-stealing) or her crazy blood-vile stages, I just look the other way. I have loved her since "Playing by Heart" in 1998. I always drew personal parallels with the "not so girly-attention monger-lost soul-yet-openly-emotional" side of her. Even MORE, now that she has a brood of kids and a UN badge. I will support any movie (and have) that she makes. A far cry (pun-intended) from her last project "A mighty heart" she sizzles with a sawed-off shotgun and a red dodge viper. Ironically, the first car I ever asked for..ha.

Universal's "Wanted" is a melding of a few comic books into one. Maker of "Night Watch", Timur Bekmambetov tells a story of an accountant, Wesley Gibson (James McAvoy) who is tragically aware of his apathy, and dismal life... A cheating girlfriend banging his best friend, dead end job, broke... (cue over-identification from almost any man who has ever been 20 something).

Fox (Angelina Jolie) appears on screen like a smokin' hot apparition. The crowed theatre let out their first and audible gasp of palpable awe and excitement to see her. She saves Wesley from a rouge member of the 1,000 year-old assassin fraternity lead by Sloan (Morgan Freeman). The clan was set on earth with their heightened adrenaline-amped fits of killing prowess and ability to curve bullets with the purpose to restore order to the chaos.Within minutes I was wide-eyed and captivated by the sight of Chicago's Carbide & Carbon building as well as the Citadel building, then launching into the car-chase on lower Wacker drive. (later stunts followed on Halsted, the "L" train in the Loop, and scenes in Wrigleyville.)

The movie flew by, dazzled with fight scenes and strange and intriguing "healing wax-baths". One of which is responsible for the the tatoo-covered Angelina Jolie booty shot walking away, sweaty and wrapping a towel around herself. The movie go-ers audibly gasped...again. I realize now, I am not a normal girl. I'm just not. Knife-training in a meat-hanging dungeon, bullets moving in slow-motion while perforating people's foreheads, f-bombs in every frame. I really have X chromosomes, and I am not a fan of many comic-book-made into movie films, nor do I love just any action film, but this one punctured my inner-dirtbag, fight-loving, sailor-mouth, agro-beast.

Somehow, "Wanted" managed to be brutally harsh, foul-mouthed, and good-trashy. Yet, it kept a wiley smile throughout. Perhaps it was narrative from James McAvoy that keeps it relatable. Maybe it was the look that Fox gave Welsley when he nervously screamed that he was "LEAVING!". She raised eye-brows and smirked a smile as if to say: "How cute?...try...its ok..."

Otherwise there are several gaping holes. In order to buy into the looms that control fate (yea, I said looms) and the physics-defying action, you have to bend into the realm of fantasy and let go of the minds need for explanation. By doing so, it is an incredibly steamy, hard-core action ride that left me a little sad, a little proud, and wanting to get a membership at a shooting range.

It has to be said that James McAvoy shed the soft and broken skin of his character in "Atonement" and nailed this role. His acting is one of the very reasons I think this movie could be pulled off. He took the "reluctant bad-ass" character to a whole new level. Mediocrity in a man , yet given a drink of the seductive power of his inner-assassin realized, he was drunk in it, leaving me happy to comply and offer him more sips just to see him grow.

He went from saying: "No, No, I just have a healthy respect for the human condition!" while being repeatedly punched by a fellow "fraternity member" to saying: "I am taking control of my life....What the F*ck have you done lately?"

Good question. Hmmmm.

1 comment:

dadshouse said...

Great review! Haven't seen it yet, but I will. I love Angelina. She is indeed a beatiful (in more ways than one) woman. Her 3D character in Beowulf was every young boy's wet dream... (and men are forever boys, so you get my drift)