Wanted: Movie Review
At the theaters, It was a choice (for me) between Hancock, starring Will Smith, and Wanted, co-starring Angelina Jolie, and starring an unknown (to me) actor named James McAvoy. I’m glad I chose a dark themed comic book adaptation over a humourous (it’s Will Smith) movie only hero.
Based on Mark Millar’s six-issue graphic novel of the same title, the Movie adaptation is an amazing mixture of style and dark humor. Style because you can’t have Angelina Jolie nor Morgan Freeman in a film and not feel their distinctive, respective personality from their characters and dark humor because, well it’s dark – dark as it brutal, gory, and sometimes without bounds.
James McAvoy – Wesley Gibson: The main character of the story, started out as a wuss and ended up as “the man.” In many perspectives, Wesley is comparison to Neo of the Matrix although more mature, more intelligent and certainly more amusing than the One. James’ performance as Wesley was simply amazing. Even his wry and sarcastic narration was a perfect fit for the film
Morgan Freeman – Sloan: Your typical bad guy mastermind (oops spoiler), Sloan stays in the background until the end of the film (literally). The role is a bit weak for his performance but he delivered quite well. He managed to give a few quotable lines that are certain to be remembered.
Angelina Jolie – Fox: It’s always impressive when a film that has Angelina Jolie as a co-star allow her to stick to just that. Yes, Angelina has only a few major points on Wesley’s overall development and yet she manages to do so in style without stealing the lime light. She maintained that likable character even if her character’s attitude throughout most of the film was the bad-ass chick who has little interest in a wuss.
Wanted has a simple premise. Taking control of your life. At the beginning, we see Wesley Gibson’s life which was stuck at filing reports inside a cubicle. Half an hour later, we see him on train about to kill his first target out of his own volition. Although it’s a bad way of telling the audience to do what you want to do, Wanted is one of the few films that manages to start with a simple line and live with it.
As a whole, the main story of the film is actually simple. Wesley gets recruited by the Federation of Assassins to kill Cross who turned out to be his father. After realizing that he’s been used, he turns around and exacts revenge and does the REAL Federation’s bidding, kill Sloan.
Like a typical superhero (or in this case Neo), Wes started out as a nobody, a wuss being pushed around. His boss was always picked on him, his girlfriend cheated on him with his bestfriend and his father (later revealed as the man he was trying to kill and killed) got killed. Right before the credits rolled, he was taking control of his life and even left us with a simple yet interesting line:
This is me controlling my life, what the **** have you done lately?
After watching, I took time to check out the comic book and found that the film ignored 90% of the graphic novel. While that might make die-hard fans jump, the film actually works. Deviating from what should’ve been the obvious storyline gave first timers for the story and fans alike a fresh and intriguing story that had everyone guess (including me) about the real plot.
The film actively focuses on Wesley, Sloan and Fox which again worked to give a better perspective of what was actually happening. Instead of dumping all those other character’s background in front of the viewer, they all fell into the background the moment they entered the screen and exited. They had interesting names but quite frankly I can’t remember anyone’s name other than The Repairman.
Wanted is violent in every sense of the word but it doesn’t allow the gore nor effects to take away all the glory. Director Timur Bekmambetov allows the scenes to speak for itself. Cinematography is graceful and the CGI’s (Wesley’s bullets blocking Cross’ bullets) were well placed. Physics defying stunts like the curving bullets (you try to shoot a target behind a pig or Angelina and hit the target but not what’s in between) don’t steal the attention and act as how film accessories should act. Like accessories that add more interest to the film and it’s backdrop.
Wanted’s premise of taking charge of your life and making your own choices was something that the film stuck to till the credits. if you can, look out for and buy a DVD when it comes out. Several of the deleted/edited scenes ruined the action so much it appeared like a noob with a pair of shears did the job.
Overall, Wanted is a great movie. Certainly more appealing to people who want more substance intheir movies rather than just humor *nudges at Hancock’s insanely weak plot*