Thursday, July 3, 2008

Wanted (Angelina Jolie & James McAvoy) - Movie review

Wanted, directed by Timur Bekmambetov star James McAvoy (as Wesley Gibson) and Angelina Jolie (as Fox) with Morgan Freeman (as Sloan) in a supporting role.

The 110 minute action flick has done what Matrix did for the movies of similar genere. Trinity's (of Matrix) flying kick while the bad guys were in suspended motion in the opening scenes set the benchmark for futuristic films and redefined CGI's role in subsequent productions. Wanted, with the introduction of the 'curved projectile' (i.e. bullet), built on Matrix's legacy by adding CGI icing on an already sinful indulgence.

The movie built on the 1000 year legacy of a group of assassins whose targets are chosen by Fate. These assasins belonged to the Weavers Guild, which members seemed to be anything but weavers. When Wesley's father, who was an assassin was killed, he was recruited to replace his father and avenge his death.

Fox, a fellow assassin took him under her wings and put him through a series of tough training to bring out the assassin instinct in him. As Wesley went on his killing missions, he discovered the terrible truth….warning.. Spoilers ahead.

Upon discovering that his father's assassin was actually his real father who was trying to get rid of the Weavers Guild that was corrupted by Sloan, Wesley turned the tables on the Guild by trashing up their lair. Fox, ultimately sacrificed for what she believed in but not before bringing down with her practically all the assasins who survived Wesley's onslaught.


I watched Wanted with very low expectations despite the explosive trailers mainly because a pal of mine didn't quite like it. It turned out suprisingly fantastic and I would rank it just a notch below Iron Man. Like Iron Man and most other comic adaptations, Wanted managed to sustain the fast pace action throughout its length. However, like most instances, it is plagued with a sloppy ending, which gave me an impression that the director is more preoccupied in setting it up for a sequel than giving the audience the satisfaction for their buck.

There a number of messages that the director was trying to bring across, the main one being "taking control of your life". But I thought the message was overshadowed by the trivialising of human lives. It's like Sin City trying to tell you "do the right thing". After some time, each person killed is the movie becomes merely a piece of meat with a bullet hole in it.

More subtle messages include "who's going to police the police of the state", which was highlighted in Will Smith's Enemy of the State. I thought that is more relevant in today's world in the aftermath of Sep 11 with security laws restricting individuals' freedom. Also, the notion of thinking for oneself instead of relying on inanimate objects (a piece of fabric in this case) and others' words (Sloan's).

All in all, Wanted is a highly entertaining movie that is worth every penny (or cent) of the ticket price. This is the movie that you should catch if you are, like me, enjoyed Matrix.

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Louie said...

As I've said in the forums, I really enjoyed the movie. Great stunts and effects. It's something fresh, something never seen before. I like that idea in a movie even if it's quite radical. Great review man.

kyh said...

The main attraction of this movie for me is Angelina Jolie. :P

Wenbin said...

Angelina.. Woots. Stumbled.

C K said...

Like what you said, it was fantastic! It was meant to entertain but nothing very much else. In the show, Jolie too a backseat, which is just as well as McAvoy did come out as a credible character.

C K said...

You mean... her tattoos on her back? :)

C K said...

Thanks for the stumble!!