THRILLER; 1hr 48min
STARRING: Angelina Jolie, James McAvoy
Wham-bam, thank you, ma’am! Jolie and (in mirror) McAvoy
How’s this for a hellapalooza development: one minute you’re an anxious office cipher (McAvoy as Wesley), then a routine supermarket run finds you in the middle of a shoot-out, with Ms Jolie (as Fox) saving your sorry hide. Next thing you know, a textile-mill boss and covert-ops overseer (Morgan Freeman) is telling you that like your father before you, you’re fated to be a member of a do-gooding fraternity of assassins. It beats a jammed photocopier any day of the week, especially when directed with a flair for top-voltage brutality by Night Watch and Day Watch helmer Timur Bekmambetov.
Doe-faced McAvoy is strangely ideal as a little guy who gets a radically geed-up go at life (although at a price: he also gets knocked about in training, and shocked to his core afterwards). He makes a soulful toughie, and Jolie, of course, eats up her screen time. But it’s the supersonic style that floats this wacky boat — the insane stunts and lunatic urgency of unyielding dedication to the comic-book kill.