Film review by: Witney Seibold




            You work in an office. You epitomize the work “wonk.” You look up your own name on the internet, and it warrants no results. You have a girlfriend, but she clearly hates you, and is cheating on you anyway. With a co-worker, no less. Your boss is a horrible fat hag who berates you for the sake of it. You have no money.


            Then, one day, Angelina Jolie approaches you in a drug store. She’s looking as pouty and as foxy as Angelina Jolie frequently does. She informs you that all this time, you have actually been a superpowered assassin, and she invites you to join her in a secret fraternity of other superpowered assassins (called, fittingly enough, The Fraternity) who are cool and can flip cars and can shoot the people they hate and have superpowers and are all supersecret and stuff, and you’re also secretly rich.


            Timur Bekmambetov’s film “Wanted,” based on a comic book, taps into the manliest, most testosterone-soaked fantasies of every frustrated, emasculated male office worker in the world. What office wonk doesn’t secretly desire to be whisked away by Angelina Jolie? It’s the same fantasy that little kids have about Harry Potter (that they are secretly special, and belong in a much more interesting world than the one they currently inhabit), but with a lot more bloodshed, a lot more money, and the promise of sex. And, seeing as “Wanted” is clearly just wish fulfillment, credibility takes a backseat to the usual brand of adrenaline-fueled chases and escapes that we’ve come to expect from films of this genre. In fact, the level of credibility is actually a few notches lower than we’re used to.


            Observe: Wesley Gibson (James McAvoy) is inducted into The Fraternity. The members of The Fraternity all have the power to curve the paths of bullets with their minds. Or perhaps it’s just the way they snap their wrists, I dunno, but they can bend bullets like Beckham. They can also shoot the wings off of flies, and do really high jumps. They are all skilled with knives. And of they get injured during their hazing/training/assassinating, they have a magical saline bath that can heal them really fast. So far, so good.


            There’s a scene in which Wesley holds his arms out to either side of him, and runs down a corridor killing people and dodging bullets at the same time. There’s a scene lifted directly from “Speed Racer” (that’s a chilling thought) in which someone flips their car upside-down over another car. Bullets can travel literally halfway across town to hit their intended targets. There’s a scene in which a train dangles from a track over a chasm, and the hundreds of people who die are never given a second thought. I’m still o.k. with all this.




            Who hires such people for assassinations? No one, it turns out, as the Fraternity gets their instructions from an enchanted loom, that somehow channels the voice of God into a secret binary code hidden in the cloth it weaves. The Fraternity then acts upon the secret cloth language, and kills whoever the forces of Fate command.


            I would be a little skeptical of this system, and indeed Wesley does question it briefly, but, for the most part, the work of the cloth is not questioned. Of course if The Fraternity work for the loom, then who pays them? Perhaps this magical loom can also print money, but it’s never really explained. And why does everyone trust Sloan (Morgan Freeman) who seems to be the only one who can read the cloth-based binary, but who is really a bastard. Indeed, no one in The Fraternity is very friendly or forthcoming about the workings of the place. I guess if you’re a supersecret superpowered assassin, you’re not going to be very forthcoming about much of anything.


            So, yeah, “Wanted” is a big, noisy, stupid-ass movie. It’s like “Shoot ‘Em Up” without the irony. It’s like sticking your head into the imagination of a Maxim Magazine writer, but with fewer breasts. Why weren’t there more breasts in this movie? I demand more breasts! Otherwise, it’s a film that can accurately be described as “awesome.” Or, perhaps more precisely, “aaaawwesooome!!” If that’s your kind of movie, by all means, rush out to rent “Wanted.”


Which ones are real, and which ones are makeup?

Which ones are real, and which ones are makeup?



Published in: on February 27, 2009 at 1:06 am  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. costumes…

    this is why i always pick my nose….

  2. very very good film………………
    thanX from this media……………………………………….

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