I watched this movie on Sunday afternoon while the kids were napping. My wife watched too while playing solitaire on my new PDA. I had wanted to go see this in the theater, but ended up waiting for DVD because I didn't want to waste a date night on this type of film. So once again, Netflix does the honors.
A quick synopsis of the film finds James McAvoy playing a city dweller caught in his own little hell. Dead-end job, girlfriend that he knows is cheating on him with his best friend. Enter The Fraternity--a 1000 year old secret society of assassins that take their orders from a magical loom woven by none other than Fate herself.
The plot of the movie is really a cool idea, with so many possibilities. I guess the movie did a pretty good job of developing the story, and the twist towards the end did catch me off guard. The viewer definitely should not go into this movie looking for a realistic tale, because this flick is full of curving bullets and fantastic stunts. But, as unbelievable as it was, I found myself laughing--giggling even--and squirming in my chair in excitement. This film is an action spectacle, and I found it seriously entertaining. Even my wife couldn't take her eyes from the screen sometimes.
The main character is played by James McAvoy and I have to say he's one of my favorite actors. I was completely blown away with his performance in The Last King of Scotland. He starts this film more than a little whiny, but as the film progresses the viewer gets to see him grow and come into his own. In a film where action is the life blood and very little time is spent developing characters, he does a fine job making his character real. Or at least as real as you can get when your heart rate routinely exceeds 400 bpm allowing you to slow down time and shoot the wings off a fly.
Providing the female eye candy in the film is none other than Angelina Jolie. She does what she does best. She's mysterious and graceful and exotically beautiful. She also kicks a lot of ass in this film adding to the hot factor. Love her or hate her, most do one or the other, she is a remarkably talented actress. She changes skin effortlessly as a chameleon--powerful enough for a title role, but exquisitely capable as a supporting actress.
Morgan Freeman also plays a significant character in the film, but his performance was disappointingly bland, comprising mostly of sitting around and looking thoughtful and wise. Ho hum.
Overall, despite the film's glaring flaws, I found it immensely entertaining. There is a TON of gratuitous cussing, a couple of scenes of non-nude but obvious sex, and Angelina Jolie's ass crack makes an appearance. Definite R rating.
I give the film a B+.