It takes a certain amount of effort nowadays to make an Angelina Jolie post-Girl, Interrupted performance as something new and revelatory of the actress’ cache of talent for she seemingly had already used up her bag of tricks (wry lip bites, caustic line deliveries, endearing sneers before she snaps, nebulous gazes into space and life, etc.).
Spectacle & Celebrity (with a tiny bit of hopeful hUMANITY). That’s what she is and that’s what she needs to be used for.
Michael Brandt, Derek Haas and Chris Morgan’s screenplay coupled with Angelina Jolie’s onscreen notoriety came together to create this year’s most enthralling character arch (so effectively sublimating ANGIE with story and empathy that I can safely consider her as "supporting")…….
Angelina Jolie is Fox, a woman sent to dig her claws into Wesley Gibbons without clearly comprehending how different her latest prey will be about. Timur Bekmabetov’s “top this (with a car!)” action-centric storytelling merely provides support for what we are already comfortable to know: Angie can look cool gunning down anything and the director and his camera are more than bemused to bend our expectation to what Angie as Fox’s body can do.
Human but serving a machine (THE LOOM OF FATE).
Inhumane but disposing the “right” lives.
Mentor (to James McAvoy whose “American” mode harkens to a screwball comedy Cary Grant).
Missionary (to Morgan Freeman who gets more out of one “motherfucker” than Samuel L. Jackson ever did).
She’s Fox. She’s Angie.
She’s thankfully what we have been geared to expect given action directing accompanied by good “stunt casting” writing.
And you better believe she has this year’s greatest entrance and exit of any movie character put to screen.
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