Nerd’s daydream of getting out from under one’s pencil-pushing job, one’s bossy boss, and one’s cheating girlfriend, finding out it’s in one’s genes to be an elite assassin, learning the tricks of the trade in nothing flat, e.g., guiding bullets telekinetically, intercepting enemy bullets in midair, and so on. (A daydream only imaginable in the video-game era.) In its loosey-goosey humor, over-the-top action, anything-goes fantasy, and gimmick-riddled visuals (the rough grain of the image would not count as one of the gimmicks), the movie drips with disdain for its material and its audience alike. With James McAvoy, Angelina Jolie, Morgan Freeman, Terence Stamp, and Thomas Kretschmann; directed by Timur Bekmambetov. (2008) — Duncan Shepherd
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