Monday, Nov. 03, 2008

5. Angelina Jolie as Fox in Wanted

Jolie certainly has the skill and, even more, the ambition to be a serious actress, as indicated by her bereaved heroines in A Mighty Heart and Changeling. But the contours of her face and body are so improbable and arresting, her stature and sexuality so imposing, that she's simply not designed to play ordinary people. She's much more satisfying as a fantasy or cartoon character. In Timur Bekmambetov's zazzy action film, she plays Fox, a member of Morgan Freeman's gang of supposedly sanctified assassins. The role is a blend of Jolie's previous adventuresses: the CIA killer lady in Mr. and Mrs. Smith crossed with Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, the daredevil pilot from Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow and the witch-goddess of Beowulf. (Oh, and her Tigress in Kung Fu Panda.) Densely tattooed, richly skilled in the automotive and firearm arts, Fox reeks of a take-charge sexiness we'll call feminismo. The actress herself might be a saint from some cinematic fertility cult: Holy Jolie.