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Wanted (2008)

August 1, 2009

VERDICT:
7/10 Magic Bullets

A fun ride and one of the more memorable action movies of ’08.

Wanted is about a wimpy bastard named Wesley whose job sucks but he doesn’t do anything about it, his girlfriend is screwing around behind his back and he knows it, and there’s no hope for improvement in sight. Then Angelina Jolie walks into his life, shoots a lot of stuff, and informs him that he was born to be a crazy-gifted assassin, not a bitch in a cubicle. Before you know it, Wesley’s the man and he’s shooting away all his problems.

It’s based off a series of graphic novels of the same name that are completely different from the story in the movie. The novels are about how all the super villains from comic book history band together and finally take out everyone’s favorite superheroes, the movie is about an elite group of assassins who kill people because a rug tells them to.

The killing and violence are all there and Wesley’s storyline is the same, but that’s about it.

Even though the director, Timur Bekmambetov (bummer about your name, man), takes a whole lot of liberties with the story, I’m actually more of a fan of the movie than the source material it’s based off. Doesn’t happen often, but this is the kind of story that works better on film than it does on paper. Probably didn’t help that Wesley’s character was modeled after Eminem in the books either. Lame.

So the thing that sets Wanted apart from the slew of generic action movies that get churned out each year is that you can tell that it’s continually trying to be fresh and original instead of just sticking to a gimmick. And for the most part, it is. It’s got the bullet-curving thing, which is cool, and it more or less completely disregards the laws of physics and actions that humans are capable of performing, but when push comes to shove, it’s just a fun movie.

It might not sound pretty stupid in text, but after watching it  for a while, you can actually kind of believe it. One of those movies you need to take with a grain of salt to really enjoy.

It’s got wild action scenes and has a pretty enjoyable script to back it up, too. The whole thing is completely over-the-top, but everyone involved is fully aware of it. The experience tries to match the cool factor of coming to the realization that you’re destined to become an elite hitman. And for the most part it succeeds.

Angelina Jolie is Angelina Jolie, not breaking the mold here or anything, and Morgan Freeman is pretty sweet as the surprisingly foul-mouthed head of “The Fraternity”. But the best part of the cast is actually James McAvoy.

I never really took James McAvoy to be much of a badass, but I guess that’s kind of the point. He’s pale, lanky, bite-size and relatively unknown in Hollywood (at least as a leading man), so it’s pretty easy to imagine him as this average Joe with a dead-end job right out of Office Space and it makes him that much cooler when he stops taking everyone’s shit and starts taking names.

So keep it up, James McAvoy. You’re doing alright for yourself.

Anyway, if you like action movies, if you’re looking for something different that doesn’t feature VanDamme, Norris, or Seagal, then you won’t go wrong with Wanted. Curving bullets = sweet. That’s about it.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 7, 2009 9:59 am

    didnt Wanted have an 8 out of 10 yesterday? aw well..
    i have to agree with you – this film is absolutely ridiculous (the Loom of Fate? come on) and yet i couldnt help but enjoy it. stupid, good fun

    • Aiden R permalink*
      August 7, 2009 4:59 pm

      lol, nope, always been a 7. wanted is good times though, agreed.

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