Thursday, July 17, 2008

Wanted is Just What I Needed!


Release: 06.27.2008
Rated R
1 hour, 50 minutes


Wesley Gibson (James McAvoy, The Last King of Scotland) is a pussy. Maybe it'd be more appropriate to call him a little bitch. His life sucks. He gets pushed around by his boss and his girlfriend every waking day. His best bud is a mega-douche who's screwing his girl. Of course, Wesley knows all this but he's too chickenshit to do or say anything about it. Instead he keeps his anxieties in check with a stew of medication. That is, until a wild lady named Fox (Angelina Jolie, Mr. & Mrs. Smith) shows up bearing gifts. Wesley is given a sense of history, of significance, of mad skills and as the newest member of the assassin's guild, the Fraternity, he starts to make up for his pathetic existence.

Director Timur Bekmambetov tweaks the tale of Wanted with the visual stylings of his vampire films, Nochnoy dozor (Nightwatch) and Dnevnoy dozor (Daywatch). As with any supernatural -superhuman tale, establishing the parameters of your new world is as important as telling the story itself. From the onset, Wanted brands its violence as humans who not only live above the law, but also react beyond the limits of the natural law. The assassins can run faster, heal quicker and literally sling bullets; feats far beyond those of the sheep of the world.

It's not all about the expanded limits of the assassins. It's also about crafting characters that remain true to their nature and beliefs. Wanted follows Wesley as he emerges from his fragile shell into a cold-blooded killer struggling with the moral implications of his new life. His tutors, Fox and Sloan (Morgan Freeman, Lucky Number Slevin), guide him in the ways of the Fraternity even as he is tested by those whose oppose the guild. It's the sense of order within the madness that gives Wanted more of a kick than your garden-variety summer fluff.

Dirty Undies
Though his part is very small, I'm glad Bekmambetov brought 'Watch star Konstantin Khabensky to play Wesley's other compatriot, The Exterminator. He adds some emotional moments to a film that would be sorely lacking otherwise. But it's not really about the emotion; it's about the flurry of wickedly awesome chase scenes and kick-ass bloodbaths that overload your senses. Killing for the sake of carnage. Wanted is not for the weak of stomach; McAvoy is seen being beaten to a bloody pulp that's reminiscent of Fight Club beatdowns. McAvoy and the crew also drop, and in some cases, spell, F-bombs liberally. All in all, my kind of movie.

The Money Shot
I'll say it again. Wanted is my kind of movie. My only sticking point I had was that it veered greatly from the premise of the comic upon which it was based. I liked the more palatable story used in the film. However, I wish Wanted the film could have abstained from Wanted the comic's condescending slant towards its audience.

Large Association of Movie Blogs


  1. and I couldn't have been much further apart here, but that's bound to happen now and then, I suppose.

  2. This film was way more entertaining than I thought it would be. It's too bad they "lightened up" the darker elements from the comic book.

    The Fox is insane in the comic book.

  3. @film-book: Fox was awesomely insane in the comics. I am about to re-read that series just to remind myself of how depraved it was compared to the film. I may have to skip the last few pages though, that never sat well with me.

  4. I've only read half of the first Wanted comic.Don't ruin it for me.

    I'm in the middle of 8th issue of The Watchmen.