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Wanted: A Review

This is, in fact, going to be a spoilerific review.

This was a fun movie. It had over-the-top action, James McAvoy and Angelina Jolie. What's not to love?

A lot.

In fact... the more I think about it, the more I hate this movie.

Yes, really.

This movie had so much promise. It has a back story. It has great actors. It has action and a hero's journey. And yet, I fail to care about any of the characters and the whole story comes off as angsty bullshit and shallow tripe. Both Jeff and I left the theater dissatisfied.

In fact, the only character I barely gave 2 shits about was Fox - for the following reasons:

1. Angelina Jolie. Tattooed. Eyeliner for miles. Hot, sexy, sassy.

2. She actually had a background and one that did not involve her being a pussy or a punk.

3. She fucking lived by the Code of the Fraternity. She believed in it so much she was willing to die for it. That says something to me.

As for the rest of them, for one of these "Assassins for Fate" to say "Fuck the code." after being informed that their names had all come up from the loom (probably because they were now killing for a megalomaniacal wanna-be God character who could bend bullets) and they should kill themselves if they wanted to follow the code... WTF? What the hell happened to "we work for fate - kill one to save thousands"? So much for fanatical devotion to duty. I wanted to punch him.

Also, the whole movie was buckets of angst in a whiny, not sympathetic way. It went from angsty to petulant, angry teenager at the end. Then... then came the final monologue where the writer/director (I don't blame the actor. He is doing what he's told.) decides to insult the whole bloody audience?

My "pathetic" life has never, and will never, be like Wesley's life. I have never once known my SO was cheating on me with my best friend and let him get away with it... to the point of buying condoms and energy drinks for him. I have never been in a job that I let the boss bully me like that. Not without fighting back and that boss, I'll have you know, was "invited" to leave the department after a few reported incidences.

Also, what have I done lately? Excuse me? You did not just say that. That closing line of the movie has me so furious that I want to punch someone - the editor, the director, the producer - anyone responsible for it, in the nose. A lot. Are you judging me because I'm not out killing in the name of Fate? Are you judging me because I'm living a normal life? Fuck you and the horse you rode in on!

That is one of the crappiest ways to end a movie - ever. What it looked like Wesley did was to destroy a corrupt version of a once holy order... without trying to bring it back to what it once was. The only hint of a saving grace is that he might have done just that based on the fact that the decoy in his office, at his desk, does not flinch at Sloan's gun in his face. He actually smiles before Sloan gets the much deserved bullet in the head.

No normal person smiles into the business end of a gun unless he knows something the gun holder does not. That tells me that the decoy was working with Wesley. That Wesley might have gone back to the original monastery where the original Fraternity had been founded, and started all over again - doing actually as Fate wanted him to.

Of course, they don't say that. They just end the movie with a petulant monologue that insults everyone watching.

Go them!


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 3rd, 2008 01:56 am (UTC)
I suspect that they couldn't end it the same way they do in the comic.

Of course, the comic is wildly different and the crappy "normal" life is explained a lot better.
Jul. 3rd, 2008 06:48 am (UTC)
I've heard there is a comic and it has a downer ending. I don't care. I want to read it.
Jul. 3rd, 2008 07:10 pm (UTC)
...well, not so much a downer ending as an ending full of nothing but contempt for the reader, which is what I think they are going for (seeing it tomorrow).
Jul. 3rd, 2008 02:45 am (UTC)
I much prefer to think of this as a Genuinely Bad Movie and so derive some amusement from its utter ridiculousness.

The way to do this was shown to me by Wanted in 15 Minutes. Hopefully it'll amuse you too!
Jul. 3rd, 2008 04:54 am (UTC)
Yeah, this one is very much on my miss list. Has been since I heard how much they butchered the original plot of the comic.
Jul. 3rd, 2008 04:15 pm (UTC)
I honestly never had much desire to see this film because Angelina makes me crazy most of the time. The woman is unatural looking to me and while that works for Lara Croft hi these are my boobs, 90% of the rest of the time I just could not give a damn about her.
Her mouth also creeps me out she has like 3 times the normal size lips. UGH!

James MacAvoy I love but I just can't see this film and from your review I'm soo glad I haven't.
Jul. 6th, 2008 04:33 am (UTC)
I went in with an advantage. I *knew* they couldn't do the comic, and based on the previews, weren't even going to try. Which meant that it was going to be angsty and shallow based on the trailer cuts and the target audience.

Fox's character is good. The background is consistent and shows why she is a believer. But I look at the actress and still prefer the way she looked pre-surgery.

And...there's a part of my brain that won't shut up during a movie. It's not the suspension of disbelief, or the willingness to be surprised. It's the degreed accountant that always evaluates what's happening on-screen against what's best for the franchise. And that part says 'There Is No Way That Fox Could Be Dead.'

We don't see the bullet hit; we see it heading in her direction and her on the ground with blood on her forhead. She's willing to die. But if she doesn't need to then why do it? All she has for proof is the word of someone who's just proven that he's been using the entire Fraternity for his own ends. The others have displayed that marked for death or not, they don't care about the code; they can die because they are supposed to, or because they aren't believers. But she can curve the bullet so it grazes her and play dead in case there is more killing to be done.

And the angst is on display and it's angry, the way you see it these days. The ending is far milder than the graphic novels, but yes, he's still insulting the entire audience. It comes across as a challenge - not do do something, but to not come back for more. And based on the box office reciepts, there will be more. And they will come, because they want to see someone angsty and whiny do the sorts of things that they wish they could do.

They could have established the link between Wesly and a new fraternity with a thumbs up from the decoy and one extra line of monologue. But to the audience, the insult 'proves' that Wesly is now in control of his life. That's what annoys me; that they will cheer him on for insulting them, and everyone else who came to the movie.
Jul. 10th, 2008 09:45 am (UTC)
My thoughts from a week away.
In it's whole concept, Wanted is an action flick meant to offer entertainment with little else for message. Having now read the work the film is based from I can see the consistency of the message and the appeal it would have to Americans in particular: Cinderalla can be a violent motherfucker of a guy and not just a pretty princess.

We love the Cinderella story, as a culture and as individuals, because we all feel put down upon and we all have at one time or another fantasized about a fairy godmother rolling up to pull our ass out of the absolutely shitty day we are having. More than a few people around me feel cheated or lacking in the pursuit of their own destiny.

Wouldn't it be that much cooler to be introduced to a world in which I am not only a bad ass but my fairy godmother is Angelina Jolie? Keep in mind that was her role: a really smoking hot Jiminy Cricket.

The thing that makes me laugh from a story perspective is the idea that an entire movie is made on the premise of characters who are walking Deus Ex Machinas. Think it through - They curve bullets, perform grand feats of physical prowess, and have a supernatural knowledge of their targets. The guys who made the Matrix at least had the curtesy to wait a movie and a half before revealing that their primary character had this trait, not every Tom swinging Dick in the credits. The nameless extras had the same abilities, or so the movie promised.

The movie delivered on a promise to have a hot chick walking around, gore spattering violence, and an appeal to the audience that hey, maybe they should get up off their ass. I didn't find that last bit insulting in the least - Largely because I don't really care about what a fictional character bitches me out for in a film clearly not intended to carry that kind of message and that I have done things to seize control of my life and my destiny.

Other people I could really see getting upset at having a movie screen berate them. I hope only for the reason of 'Who the fuck are these guys to say this to me?'
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )