Wanted


Directed by: Timur Bekmambetov
Written by:Michael Brandt, Derek Haas, Chris Morgan
Starring: James McAvoy, Morgan Freeman, Angelina Jolie, Terrence Stamp, Thomas Kretschmann, Common
Released: July 31, 2008
Grade: C

I need to see a therapist because I just don’t “get” films like this.  I think it is absolute rubbish.  Yet, I’ve said the same thing about so many over-the-top action movies.  I’m becoming as predictable as the films themselves.  How does this flick make $130m at the U.S. box-office and score a 7 out of 10 rating from the public on the Internet Movie Database?  What’s wrong with me?

When it comes to farcical action, there’s one film that you must see.  It’s called Crank and it stars Jason Statham from the Transporter movies.  They’re actually making a sequel which will be released next year.  I never fully reviewed Crank on my website but let me say that it’s FUN.  It subscribes to a theory that I’ve long believed in – if you’re going to create a crazy action film then it can’t take itself too seriously.  It should be light-hearted and entertaining.  Check it out if you haven’t seen it already.

You should now have an idea as to why I hated this film.  The storyline is silly and convoluted.  Were there any jokes at all?  I can’t remember laughing very often.  Instead of fixing the holes in the screenplay, Russian director Timur Bekmambetov (Night Watch) has spent the time showing off.  He tries to get our adrenalin flowing with crazy action sequences.  It didn’t work for me.  The special effects are blatantly obvious and it makes the whole thing look fake.  Was the whole movie made on a computer?  Are any of the actors even real?

It’s all about an ordinary guy named Wesley Gibson (McAvoy) who has a crummy job as an accountant.  His life changes when he is brought into the world of The Fraternity.  They are a secret organisation of assassins who kill people to help maintain world order.  What makes them special is that they can fire a gun and curve the bullets.  They can therefore shoot someone who is around a corner.  Don’t ask me how they can do this.

There’s a lot more to this story but I can’t be bothered going into it.  The reason that Wesley has been recruited by The Fraternity is too complicated to explain.  How this organisation continues to operate is also a mystery.  Wouldn’t the police be a little suspicious about all these killings?  Wesley is involved in a shootout early in the film and his face appears on the front page of the paper.  You’d think he’d be identified by someone but it doesn’t happen.  He continues to walk down busy streets and travel on public transport.

I respect James McAvoy as actor and can understand why he’s made a film like this.  After terrific performances in The Last King Of Scotland and Atonement, McAvoy is considered the “next big thing”.  Wanted is the Hollywood blockbuster that will launch his career in the United States and see his face plastered on huge billboards and magazine covers.  I hope he has a great career but this is not a role that I will remember him fondly for.  The same can be said for Angelina Jolie (A Mighty Heart) who plays a fellow member of The Fraternity.  You can tell that she’s been cast in this film for her looks rather than her acting ability.

I “wanted” to walk out of the cinema after about 20 minutes.  I regretted not doing so.