Based in the back room of a textile factory, the team receive orders to kill via the coded weavings of a magical loom. So far-fetched is all this (the threat of an army of exploding rats has already been made) that when overseer Morgan Freeman delivers the line ‘We call this… the Loom of Fate’, you won’t bat an eyelid. It’s already the lingua franca.
This is cinema for people who slow down at car wrecks: Bekmambetov takes pleasure in showing us a bullet slowly boring in or out of the cranium while taking great care in sculpting the resultant swirl of CG blood. McAvoy is reasonable in his first action lead, but offers a tin-eared approximation of the US accent that comes across less like the middle-class salaryman he is and more Jewish New York cab driver (think Bob Hoskins).
There’s an eccentric otherness to the film which just manages to sustain the interest, but whether Bekmambetov’s talents lie in filmmaking rather than gaming or comics is debatable.