Wanted: The perfect summer action flick

The plot may not make much sense, but who cares when there are chases and fights to watch?

SHOOT ’EM UP<br>Angelina Jolie + firepower = blockbuster.

Angelina Jolie + firepower = blockbuster.

Starring James McAvoy, Angelina Jolie and Morgan Freeman. Directed by Timur Bekmambetov. Rated R.
Rated 4.0

Shootouts, car chases, knife fights and double crosses—sounds like the perfect recipe for a mindless summer action flick. Throw in some weaving, rats and an ancient fraternity, and you’ve got something a little out of the ordinary—and a lot bizarre.

The great thing about Wanted, though, is that it certainly doesn’t take itself too seriously. And the bizarre parts are played down so as to not interfere with the, well, action.

First off, there’s James McAvoy, whose piercing blue eyes and nerdy good looks make him the perfect drone-turned-contract killer. Wesley Gibson is like Clark Kent’s evil twin—boring account manager by day, bullet-curving killer by night.

And who better to train the guy than a sexed-up bad girl named Fox (Angelina Jolie), who runs and plays on top of Chicago’s El for fun?

Fox easily drags Wesley into her web. He’s unhappy and unfulfilled and she taunts him with her big eyes and tales of his father, whom he never knew. Suddenly he is part of “the Fraternity,” a group of hit men (and women) who operate out of a weaving factory and can translate binary code. Oh, and they’ve discovered a liquid that will heal any wound in record time.

But that’s the weird part. I digress.

This team of assassins, led by Sloan (Morgan Freeman), faces off against a single enemy, who is quite a good match for all of them. The car chases are phenomenal, adrenaline-pumpers, and the toys these guys play with are fun to watch.

The whole curving bullets thing is kind of cheesy, but cool in theory. Thankfully the plot does not revolve around it. Although, in the scheme of things, it’s one of the more believable Fraternity pastimes.

While Freeman is predictably stoic and Jolie is her same old sultry self, McAvoy expands his range here, playing a tortured robot of a man suddenly faced with the opportunity to do something exciting with his life, even if it means testing his morals. It’s fun to watch him break through barriers in his personality, while kicking ass to boot.

The plot may not make much sense, but it’s all secondary to the action anyway, so it really doesn’t distract much from the film, which is exactly what one hopes for from a mindless, summer action flick.