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Review: 'Wanted'

| Friday, June 27, 2008

There are bad movies, and so-bad-it's good movies, but "Wanted" belongs to a category beyond them all -- a realm of pure blinding badness that would embarrass even Jerry Bruckheimer.

It's got everything you don't want in a summer action movie -- the humor of "The Matrix: Reloaded" (none), the memorable characters of late-period Steven Seagal (none), the just-wild-enough-to-be-believable chases of "The Transporter" (a joke), and a twist ending that would make only M. Night Shyamalan proud.

James McAvoy plays Wesley, a sad-sack office drone who gets panic attacks when his obese boss berates him for his ineptitude.

But that's only until Fox (Angelina Jolie) -- yes, her name is really "Fox" -- roars into his life, guns blazing. After saving his life from a mysterious assassin, she informs him that his long-departed father was an assassin, part of an ancient cabal of killers called "The Fraternity" that keep the world in balance by killing the worst of the worst.

The Fraternity has descended from a medieval guild of weavers, the giant "Loom of Fate" somehow encoding their targets into pieces of cloth. She tells Wesley that his panic attacks really indicate an incredible surge of adrenaline that he can learn to control -- letting him do things like shoot bullets out of mid-air and make his car do backflips.

Russian director Timur Bekmambetov -- of the equally tedious "Nightwatch" movies -- is largely responsible for this fiasco, and its baffling 110-minute length.

If McAvoy feared that he would be typecast after "Atonement" in sensitive-boy romantic lead roles -- well, he doesn't have to worry about that now.

• In wide release

Additional Information:

'Wanted'

Rated R for strong violence, language and sexuality One and a half stars (out of four)

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