Friday, January 27, 2012

Wanted


  Undoubtedly this movie has its legions of passionate haters. Which can promptly be divided into a few distinct categories. Fans of the comic by Mark Millar and J.G.Jones. People who think the movie is an offensive exercise in gore and profanity. And those who just can't suspend their belief when the movie starts spitting in the face of the laws of physics.  Well, I never read the comic, I don't have a problem with gore or profanity, and I'm really good at suspension of disbelief. It seems this movie was aimed at people just like me. If you fall into any of the above categories... you'll likely hate the movie. So do yourself a favor, stop reading this review, and go do something else. Seriously.

  If you're like me in the above criteria, and you're in the mood for a spot of nihlistic fun... then pull up a chair.  Wanted is quite a ride.  We follow cubicle-bound loser Wesley Gibbons (James McAvoy) as he discovers, through an explosive encounter with the sexy Fox (Angelina Jolie), that he's the son of a super assassin. And subsequently being a killer is in his blood. Quite literally.  After a little intense pursuasion, Wesley promptly ditches his menial office job, and goes to join "The Fraternity".  A fraternity of super assassins as it were. Led by the mysterious Sloan (Morgan Freeman). Wesley learns of the assassin who killed his father and left the fraternity, and how its now his destiny, issued by fate itself, to exact revenge on the rogue killer and put a stop to his murderous rampage.

  Sounds pretty awesome.  Who wouldn't like to ditch their pathetic boring lives and learn to be a super assassin who can fire a gun, and curve the bullet around corners with a simple flick of the wrist?  Hence the physics issue. But at this point... I could care less if its the most impossible thing in the world. It looks really damn cool.  As does most of the insane stunts and action scenes in the movie.  From flipping entire cars over other cars, to having a shootout in a derailed train thats dangling off the side of a bridge with a 2000 foot drop, to leaping out the side of one skyscraper to land on the top of the one across the street... everything in Wanted is pure adrenaline. More concerned with what looks amazing, rather than whats actually possible.
In any other movie, like say... Transporter 2. This kind of approach is just silly. But in Wanted, the rules of the world around the characters in the movie, bend to the will of the story. Its all tied together by a common thread, and explained away in tedious dialog by important sounding characters.

  Surprisingly, it all works extremely well.  James McAvoy fits his role perfectly. From loser to badass in the span of two hours and its irresistably entertaining to watch.  From his snappy and rather naive lines early on, to the "f**k you" attitude he quickly learns to adopt, he's great in this role. And impossible to take your eyes off.  Its pretty impressive too, that with a cast that includes Angelina Jolie and Morgan Freeman, that McAvoy steals the show. Completely.  And what a show it is! Its packed from start to finish with graphic bloody violence, those clever voice overs with the snappy dialog that the 'Fight Club' generation seems to love, and lest we forget the incessant profanity.  Is the movie a little immature? Yes. Yes it is. But its also intelligent and emotional despite its bold and crass exterior.  It has a bit to say if you listen closely enough.
But even if you don't, and you're just here for the action, you're in for quite a treat, and a breath of fresh air.

  Wanted is fast, fun, bloody, clever, and original. So what it strays from the source material like its the plague? Its its own beast. Like it for what it is. If you don't, feel free to hate it for what its not. The rest of us will continue to have a damn good time with it.

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