wanted: an origin story explaining angelina jolie’s millions

The tats? Yeah, they’re fake, but everything else . . . huh boy.

Over the holiday weekstravaganza the Evil saw Wanted, a.k.a. Fight Club with guns, sans social satire. The main guy even looks a little like Ed Norton, or at least Norton’s love child with whatshisname from Scrubs. You know, the guy in Garden State. Put them together—Scrubs guy’s exaggerated goofiness with Ed Norton’s “I may look mild-mannered, but I’m about to explode” quiverishness—and you’ve got Wanted guy.

Evil isn’t here to offer a review of Wanted. No point. Either you can accept the logic of car-flips-over-another-car-and-while-upside-down-the-hero-shoots-the-target-through-the-sunroof-of-his-limo or you can’t. Five years ago that premise would have infuriated the Evil, but since then he has attended both a professional driving session and an elite SWAT team rooftop shooter gun course. And while he still can’t suspend enough disbelief to buy this stunt in the context of the movie, the Evil knows he could pull it off. So it’s more of an exercise in future-autobiographical-exploits-of-Evil than suspension of disbelief.

But we’ve spent too long on the movie itself. The biggest impact of seeing Wanted was to make the Evil wonder whether Angelina Jolie’s agent has a Cold War-style red phone in his office: a direct line straight from the office of every producer in Hollywood, which they reach for whenever a script like Wanted’s is plopped on their desk by a harried assistant. Because she has to be in this movie.

She doesn’t even say much, even though she’s in almost every frame. Doesn’t have to. She just has to be there; her presence makes the logic of the rest of the movie work. The fact that her ludicrously outsize eyes and lips don’t throw her entire face out of whack, and instead emphasize her insane hotness, makes the rest of Wanted believable. If she exists, why couldn’t you bend a bullet’s path of flight? Not since Marlon Brando appeared in The Freshman has another actor been so utterly crucial to the logic of a film.

Given that, the Evil believes her agent does in fact possess just such a red phone. When it rings, he cackles, knowing he’s about to wring an extra two million from the desperate, rasping producer on the other end. Because his client is the difference between a $20 million opening and a $50 million-plus opening. Between a doldrums-of-winter and a middle-of-summer release.

That, and because there’s the off chance every day that fucking Angelina Jolie will walk into his office. And she might be naked—she’s crazy, right? Vial of Billy Bob’s blood and all that. Good times.


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