Friday, June 27, 2008

Wanted Review

Wanted has its origins in the graphic novel by Mark Millar, Paul Mounts and J.G. Jones. I have never read the comic book but I did read up on the intro in Wikipedia. It seems very new. It only came out in 2003/2004. And usually it takes two or three years to make a film so this got picked up very quickly. In the Wikipedia article it mentioned that it is very much like the Matrix. The protagonist of Wanted, Wesley Gibson (played by James McAvoy from Atonement), starts off in a plain cubicle job he is unhappy with when one day he is thrown into a whole new world. Also, it mentions that Wesley Gibson is some sort of "super-villian" but in the movie I did not pick that up from him. I guess I'll discuss that later too. Fundamentally, the movie is about this "nobody" protagonist who is taken into the arms of an organization of weavers (yes weavers) called "The Faternity" which was created one thousand years ago to regulate the "balance" of human life after his father is murdered. He has these special ablities/special powers used to assasinate any of his targets. This includes super-speed, super-sense, the ability to curve a bullet's path and etc. Wesley's assignment is to kill the man who allegedly murdered his father. Generally, the movie was quite enjoyable but hard to deeply get into because of its over-the-top physics and situations.

The Good of Wanted
The reason you'd go to a movie like this is because of the action. When you saw the trailer or you saw the commercials in your mind you aren't thinking "oh, that looks like an interesting story". That could cross your mind but in the forefront you think "what great action that seems to have". I can tell you this, it delivers with action. The first scene of action was very cool and the huge reveal at the end of the scene (as well as the reveal at the end of the movie) were especially thrilling. The curving of the bullet effect was done very well and surpasses even the things anyone in The Matrix could achieve. The car-chase scene, however unbelievable, was done very well, especially its finale. It wasn't as amazing as The Matrix: Reloaded freeway scene but it was a nice urban action scene. The montage of Wesley's training with the weavers was pretty awesome and engaging. There were a few scenes of his first hits that were really great amazing, especially with the the hit he had to do with the the man in the limousine. The train scene was fantastic. I really love how since these people are ultra-assassins they have the ability to pretty much "duel" with the bullets in their guns. It was rather neat. One person will shoot their gun, curving the bullet when the other would do the same and their bullets would collide in mid-air. I actually wish I could see more of that but in a faster pace. The finale of course is epic, especially what Angelina Jolie's character, Fox, does.

The next thing that is very strong in the film is the humor and comedy of it all. I didn't except to laugh as much as I did in this film as I did, especially in the first act of the film. I was laughing really hard when Wesley quits his job, cursing out his boss and giving his so-called best friend a well-deserved hit across the face with his keyboard. McAvoy whom we last saw in Atonement played a very serious in that and he transitions from Robbie to Wesley in Wanted very well. He handled the comedy with wit and charm. Jolie's character Fox has a few comedic moments. She definitely plays the role she should as the hot co-star, which brings me to my thoughts about the acting and the story.

Although Fox is merely the co-star, the "hot chick" of the flick I always felt like she had a lot of character and Jolie pulled it off well. She could have been developed a tad bit more but all and all the slight mystery holds it well and her motives hold true to her final decision in the film. As I said before McAvoy did very well and I forgot that he was Scottish (what is with all these forgein actors playing Americans now-a-days?). Morgan Freedmon did alright as the top-dog of the faternity. The story too, was pretty cool. For me, it brought up a lot of questions. Basically, the faternity is ruled by this giant weaving machine which has the names of the people "fate" chooses to kill through an intricate code in the cloth. The code is interpreted into binary code (which explains the binary code on Fox's arm in the poster) and then deciphered into a name. There is a great twist with this in the end which I won't discuss because it's a major spoiler but I do have a lot of theories and ideas about it. The story actually kept me very intrigued and I do not believe it was over-done as most other reviews are saying.

The Bad of Wanted
When one sees the title "Wanted" they may think that the protagonist are running away from the law. Well, at first near the beginning of the movie we see Wesley on a newspaper as a "wanted" man but the thing is I never once saw a cop on his tail or saw him on the run. In fact, there isn't a single police officer in the whole film (there is a police car though). The title is a bit misleading but when I look into it further now it could play into the fact that the fraternity wanted Wesley.

While I was intrigued by the story and I do not think it was over-done I did pick up a few plot-holes, or what I thought were plot-holes but they could be forgiven. Plus, some of the over-the-top nature of the film bugged me at points. I couldn't tell what was my reality that I am familiar with in my own life and what was their reality. That doesn't make sense but what I mean is that I could really decode the limitations of these assassin's powers. While one thing was possible, another wasn't and I couldn't make sense as to why. But again, with the nature of the rest of the film it was a passable.

The action was great, of course, but sometimes in terms of the editing and the way it was shot it was hard to follow some of the sequences. Yes, action stuff should be shaky and hectic at time but the audience should be able to follow what's happening within the scene or else how would they know their hero is in danger or is conquering over their foe when all they can see is a bunch of blurry motion.

The acting was good but Morgan Freedmon didn't give a phenomenal performance as Sloan. He was alright, not even good, perhaps at points though.

Conclusion of Wanted
Good, solid action flick. Story may be a little bit out-there at times and there may be a total disregard for human life within the film but it's definitely an entertaining film. McAvoy does well from coming from an Oscar-nominated film to a summer blockbuster. Jolie is back in the action, but its a bit sad seeing her in the co-star chair. And Freedmon has had much better performances.

Apparently this film does not relate to the comic book once it gets into its second act. In the comic book it's about superheroes versus supervillians and its a world where the villains have killed off all the heroes and ruled the world but the film took the approach from an assassin organization's P.O.V.

Story: Passable. Good but may not be for everyone. (7/10)
Action: Very great. Over-the-top but once you get into it it's very enjoyable indeed. (9/10)
Special FX: Very good. But I could tell the rats were done digitally :( (8/10)
Pacing: Very fast, very humorous, slowed down when it needed to. Well paced. (8.5/10)
Editing: Good but sometimes couldn't tell what was going on in the action scenes. (7.5/10)
Acting: Avoy and Jolie give some good performacnes and have good chemistry. Freedmon could have done better. (8/10)
Recommeded: Yes, but only to those who are 14+ years of age and want to see some awesome action.

TOTAL: (8/10)


I like what one of the girls said and it really isn't a typical comic-book movie about superheroes and the like.


Off Subject Note: I bought a sixteen-ounce strawberry wild & a zucchini bread from Jamba Juice and it came out to $4.20. Hehe!

1 comment:

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I enjoyed the hell out of it too. Only the bit at the beginning reminded me of the Matrix. Later it reminded me more of Equilibrium, but it didn't remind me of these movies in a negative copycat way. Great fun.

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