Tuesday, August 19, 2008

RS Movie Review - Wanted

The "hitman with a conscience" genre has always interested me. And I'd say that "Wanted" (which I saw last week) would in some way fall into that category.

The best way to describe this movie is if Fight Club and The Matrix had a child, and Office Space delivered the baby.

Wesley Gibson (played by James McAvoy) leads the drab rat race life of a corporate nobody. His "girlfriend" is cheating on him, his "best friend" is the one she is cheating with, his boss is not a pleasant woman to work for, and he is barely getting by. Suddenly one day, Fox (played by Angela Jolie) shows up and mentions that Wesley's father, who was killed yesterday, was the greatest assassin in the world ... and that the second best assassin is right behind Wesley! Suddenly, Wesley's life is changed as he finds that he isn't quite who he thought he was, and is introduced into "The Fraternity" to take his father's place. The Fraternity is an ancient society of assassins who secretly protect the stability of the world.

If it sounds a bit outrageous, you're right. But this movie is clearly not about realism. Like I said earlier, this has a huge "Matrix-y" feel. You have to be able to suspend your disbelief if you are going to watch this movie. But that is part of why I enjoyed it. It was just a fun summer popcorn flick. There's a lot of preposterous things in the movie, but they really do fit in with the plot.

I myself enjoyed it and it does have some "thinking" aspects to it as well. It asks questions about fate vs. freedom, the similarity and difference between faith and instinct, vigilante justice and does the ends justify the means. And the ending might just have you thinking more than you expected when walking out of the theater.

I thought the acting was pretty good for this type of movie. James McAvoy and Angela Jolie seemed to have a pretty good chemistry. Morgan Freeman was his usual good acting, although he does surprise you by doing something a bit unexpected in some parts.

The movie is rated "R" for violence and language, and a couple of scenes that show exactly how his girlfriend is cheating on Wesley with his best friend. Surprisingly, Angela Jolie was rather anorexic looking and totally unattractive in this movie (although I've never really seen why she is so popular anyways). It's definitely not a movie for the kiddies. And this would proably only be enjoyed by those who like over the top action flicks.

The movie is actually based on a graphic novel of the same name, but does take a pretty big departure in regards to what the Fraternity is. Although I haven't read the graphic novel, I have flipped through it and read about it. If you're a fan of the graphic novel, you will probably be a bit disappointed in the movie. However, there's no way the graphic novel would get an "R" rating as the graphic novel is much more over the top in language, sex, and violence. And the character of Wesley is much more likable in the movie (in the graphic novel he looks, and probably acts, like Eminem), and the movie is a bit more "based in reality" than then comic as well (yeah, I know that's really hard to say. LOL!).

Overall, I liked the movie, in spite of it's obvious over the top action, pretty far stretched story, and unexplained plot holes. I could have done without the "cheating scenes" though. And as Matrix-y as it feels, this movie is one of the more original movies I've seen lately. I'd give it a rating of matinee or dollar theater since the big screen does give it a little extra something.


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