Saturday, July 12, 2008

Feel wanted by Angelina Jolie

Hey folks,

I got a chance to check out the comic turned film, Wanted, last weekend and thought I would toss up a review on here for anyone who is thinking about checking it out. Off the bat, let me say that all the people who are saying that Wanted is a cross between Fight Club and the Matrix and pretty much spot on. Take the inter-monologuing, pathetic loser from Fight Club and mix it with the world altering, high action story of the Matrix and you have Wanted. With that out of the way, lets get on with the review.

First off all, we got the story. As I said above, the story is basically about a pathetic office jocky who one day finds out he is the son of a legendary assassin, has these crazy adrenaline skills which allow him to slow down time inside his mind and that he has been tapped to be trained and take out the man who killed his father. Now the story has sort of been done a few times now, more so in the martial arts films then American ones of course. Still, this is nothing all to new really. As usual, the loser is trained to become a major badass and does so in only a few weeks time. The training though is a ton more brutal then I have seen in awhile and you actually feel bad for the main character, Wesley Gibson. He takes a licking and keeps on ticking. Still, in only a few weeks, he is turned into a huge badass and racks in a few kills before being able to go after the guy who killed his father.

I could cover more of the story like some of the weird story elements such as the "Loom of Destiny", the cure all wax treatment or the stereotypical side characters. But this is a summer popcorn movie folks and its not a flick that is suppose to be story driven. All you need to know is a guy becomes a killer and is sent to kill his father's murder. Thats about it. There are a few surprises of course and you will actually look back throughout the film to spot some things they talk about later in the movie and you will go "Ah, they are right!". But other then that, you can switch your brain off and have a good time.

As for the acting, I was actually a bit surprised. James McAvory does a solid job as Wesley Gibson and plays off the loser type really well. Even once he becomes a total badass, he doesn't act like previous big action stars who tend to throw out acting skills for more guns and action. Towards the end I think he plays up the badass type a little to much, but it still works. Till then though, you actually do believe this guy is Joe Schmoe who ends up having tons of crazy stuff happen to him and put in a situation where he has to seek vengeance.

Sidelining McAvory we have Angelina Jolie and Morgan Freeman. In Wanted, Jolie plays the insanely sexy Fox who has been assigned to train Gibson and make sure he kills his father's killer. There isn't a whole lot to her other then to be eye candy and to drive Gibson to make sure he is a killer, though you get a little glimpse into why she does what she does. I wish they would of fleshed her out a bit more, but I guess its good they didn't cause sometimes you don't need to dive into side characters. There are just there to push along the main character and thats what you need from time to time. But with Fox, it did seem like she could have some cool stories to tell. Plus, you get to see Jolie naked. Despite looking like a 1940's cartoon skeleton now a days, seeing Jolie naked is always a plus in my book.

Morgan Freeman though pretty much plays Morgan Freeman in Wanted. He is in charge of the major assassins group , called The Brotherhood. He is the one to gives the killing assignments to everyone and watches over Gibson. He doesn't have a huge amount of screen time and just pops up time to time to offer some advice much like with any other recent movie that had Freeman in it. It isn't till the near end Freeman actually opens up a bit and starts acting like a cool son of a bitch.

Now of course there is the action in Wanted. Sadly though, unlike the Matrix, Wanted doesn't have anything all to new or awesome in the action department. Don't get me wrong, there is some really cool action scenes in the film, but nothing that will really change how we look at chase or fight scenes. Gun-fu takes on a bit of a new meaning in the flim though since all these assassins can "bend" bullets and make them curve around objects including people. So some of the fights actually will have you sitting on the edge of your seat.

Overall, Wanted was actually fun for me. This is what a real popcorn summer movie should be and I think Wanted is worth checking out in theaters. It won't change how we look at action movies nor does it make you question everything around you. Still, I think most people will walk out of the film with a grin and have a bit of action buzz going when they do. I give Wanted a 7/10 and Angelina Jolie can bend my bullet anytime she wants.

-P. Knight

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