Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Review - Wanted

A neuortic and apathetic 25 year old, who works in a mundane office, is throughly bored with his nothing life. That all soon changes when it is revealed that his long lost father, was a highly trained assassin for justice, and has been murdered. A secret organization called the Fraternity soon recruits Wesley Gibson to follow in his father's footsteps.

"Wanted" is a fast paced action packed story, that comes from the comic book of the same name, written by Mark Millar. It is directed by Timur Bekmambetov, who has previously directed Russia's high energy vampire film's Night Watch and it's sequel Day Watch. Wanted tried to remain as close to the comic book as possible. This film relies entirely on high energy action, instense and nonstop gunplay, stunts that are highly unbelievable, and CG animation to make it all work. Unfortunately for me, it didn't work.

"Wanted" is an over the top action film, which I usually like. Mindless fun that you dont really have to think, instead just sit back, watch, and hopefully enjoy. However, "Wanted" tries to take it self very seriously and what comes across on the screen at times is downright laughable. A prime example is The Fraternity, the so-called secret organization of assassins, is pretty stupid at its core. The whole reason that these assassin's kill is, because the "Loom of Fate" tells them to. (So what they are saying is that is a magical rug maker tells them who to kill, WTF!?!) These assassin's must live and die by thread and what it says? Just too fucking ridiculous!

The setup for the film is actually very strong. The films introduces Wesley Gibson and his mundane and awful job, his cheating and constantly nagging girlfriend, and his co-worker who has the audacity to constantly chat up Wesley, while he is secretly banging his girlfriend. Within the first five minutes of the film, you feel for Wesley and realize his life is shit! James McAvoy does a great job as Wesley and feels genuine in the role. His progression into the assassin that the Fraternity has set out to make him is believable all the way through. McAvoy did a good job for his first role in an action film.

The rest of the cast was decent. Morgan Freeman played a typical role. He and Sam Jackson have seemed to fall into these roles of leaders of underground organizations. Jackson with xXx and Freeman with the Fraternity. Angelina Jolie was once again the badass, who this time holds absolute resolution for the Fraternity and will do anything to uphold its code. I hate Angelina Jole, and she drove me crazy in this film! (She seriously plays the same recycled character everytime. Since she did Hackers, she has been the badass chick who will try anything and everybody wants. Examples: Tomb Raider, Gone in 60 Seconds, Girl Interrupted, Gia, Beowulf, Pushing Tin, Bone Collector, and Mr. & Mrs. Smith. I know, all you guys are like, wtf, she's hot! Blah, blah, blah, Angelina is terrible!)

There are quite a few things in this film that didn't work for me. First off, once Wesley essentially becomes an assassin almost instantly we are slammed with a twist to the story. I will not say what it is, but it involves one of his targets, and reminds me way too much of Empire Strikes Back. Secondly, the action throughout the film was over the top to the point of nasuea. If it's not angelina flipping her car over a bus and still having time to fix her hair, its an assassin flying across the sky cause he can chanel his adrenaline. Again, just too much. Thirdly, the curving bullet, was a one trick pony! After seeing them do the curving bullet once, it was nothing to go, "ohhh and awww," over. By the time Wesley finally learns how to do it, I was so over it, it was nothing new and as general as straight bullets. Unfortunately, the finale hinges on the curving bullet and really was anti-climatic.

On a positive note, most of the CG in all the action sequences was great, near flawless. Especially the keyboard to the guy's face and the keys that fell off read, "Fuck You," with one of the guy's teeth making the "U". That was perfect and straight out of the comic!

Overall, Wanted is a mindless action packed joyride that trys to hard to have a serious backstory. The backstory itself is laughable and not believable in the slighest. Reading it in a comic is one thing, you can overlook the backstory and rely on animation. But here, the lack a real good story hurt Wanted. The film had to rely on the CG effects and high energy action. Alot of the film was really over the top and insanely stupid. Rat bombs and Wax baths that can heal a bullet wound and knife wounds in hours, just pure dribble. If you enjoy mindless action with mindless story, see Wanted.