MOVIE REVIEW – “Wanted”: My 1 hour 50 minutes Back

Maybe I’m a little behind in watching some of these movies, but in the case of the 2008 release “Wanted,” starring Angelina Jolie, Morgan Freeman and James McAvoy, I don’t think I’ve been missing much.

“Wanted” is intended to be a pulse pounding, high action adaptation of a comic book about an average schmuck who is groomed by a centuries old clan of assassins to avenge the death of one of their number at the hands of one of their own. Unlike several other comic book adaptations to hit the screen over the last few years, “Wanted” sucked an unsually jaw-breaking volume of donkey balls.

The Premise: Wesley (McAvoy) is an aevrage schmuck working a dead end job for a boss that he hates, dampening anxiety attacks with a mixture of resignation and medication. His hot girlfriend is being stuffed by his co-worker and “friend,” and Wesley’s pathetic excuse for a life is dangling at the edge of poverty. In short, Wesley is the 20-something everyman of the global economic collapse.

Wesley soon encounters a mysterious and somewhat creepy yound woman (Jolie) who appears to save him from a gun-toting madman. After a prolonged action sequence involving a revolting amount of carnage unleashed on a north american sports car and improbable vehicular acrobatics, Wesley finds himself regaining consciousness in an unknown location where Sloan (Freeman) informs him that the man who tried to kill him was in fact the man who killed Wesley’s estranged father, and that Wesley is one of a handful of people in the world capable of controlling time and space to make him the perfect assassin. Sloan wants Wesley to join the fraternity and kill Cross, the rogue who killed Wesley’s father.

Pros: There is very little that redeems this movie in any way. You could say that it’s a fun, brainless action movie that entertains you for a duration without demanding much in the way of thought or reflection, and you’d be right. I don’t know if that really counts as a point in the movie’s favour. But, this section is for the things that made the movie better, so… I would have to say a brief glimpse of naked Angelina Jolie ass definitely improved my appreciation of the movie, though that’s not saying much. It was, after all, a brief glimpse. I liked that they used Nine Inch Nails music on the soundtrack, and would actually have to say the soundtrack as a whole was pretty decent. And, as a person who suffers from anxiety issues, it was a revelation that anxiety might actually be an indication that I have the ability to control space and time and belong to a secretive fraternity of cloth weaving assassins.

Cons: This could be a long list, and it shouldn’t be. The whole thing was contrived. Brainless or not, this movie entertained solely through action sequences that themselves were so brainless and unrealistic as to ruin the effect. Acrobatic car driving, bent bullet trajectories and a train car that plunges hundreds of feet in a stone chasm without killing the protagonist are all examples of trying too hard to make the action exciting with little regard for common sense. I don’t mind that a movie requires a suspension of dispbelief, but there are limits before disbelief can no longer be reasonably suspended. And the ending is truly stupid. I mean, not only the method by which the final, Shakespearean death scheme is rationalized (bent bullet trajectories are one thing, but bullets that don’t seem to lose momentum after travelling through multiple objects is another), but the entire notion that a mastermind who deceived some of the most dangerous people in the world can be taken at his word the way he was at the end.

Conclusion: If you’ve had a lobotomy, this’ll be right up your alley. If all your lobes are intact, you should feel violated for having spent your valuable time on this movie. What the hell was Morgan Freeman thinking?

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1 comment so far

You must also suffer from optimism, because after seeing the preview for this movie, I had come to the same conclusion. Bonus: Didn’t lose an hour and fifty minutes!

A Knight
July 24th, 2010 at 1:12 pm

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