Monday, June 30, 2008
I am very glad I don't work in a cubicle job because according to the movie Wanted, if you're a twenty something office monkey trapped in a dull pathetic existence then your only means of escape is to become an assassin and shoot a lot of people. And not just shoot them, but using some slick Matrix-style curve ball way to shoot in the process.
Loosely based on a comic book series by Mark Millar, Wanted is a story about Wesley Gibson, an apathetic victim of the cubicle monkey lifestyle. Wesley's day consists of going to work where he's constantly berated by his overbearing Nurse Ratchet of a boss, going home to his run down apartment to his girlfriend whom right from the beginning is shown cheating on him with his douchebag best friend and trying to cope with the fact that he's broke and leading a meaningless existence by taking heavy medication. In other words, he's pathetic.
A chance meeting with a woman named Fox aka Angelina Jolie playing her umpteenth bad ass gun wielding femme-fatale, steps in and informs poor Wesley that he's the heir to an ancient tradition known as killing people for hire. Apparently Wesley's father was one of the greatest assassins in the world and was recently murdered and it's up to Wesley to take on the family trade. With almost zero prompting and the minimum seven stages of denial, Wesley goes down the path from pansy to bad ass through a series of obligatory training montages with the various rogues gallery of assassinannys showing him the ropes before he's sent to take down his father's killer.
This could have been a decent summer action movie. This could have been a movie akin to Fight Club or Office Space in that we have a hero that inspired us to escape whatever monotonous lifestyle we might be living in to aspire to some sort of greatness. Unfortunately the movie gets bogged down with some video game-like concepts that would tax the suspension of disbelief of thirteen year olds. People are able to jump and flip cars as if they were playing Grand Theft Auto, bullets are shot like curve balls and able to defy logic and physics; and while cool the first time, a person would get tired of seeing two bullets collide in mid air after the third or fourth time. James McAvoy, who is a very talented actor, does a fine job with what he's given. It's just that the character Wesley isn't that great to begin with. Unlike other people who might be morally conflicted with becoming an Assassin, Wesley jumps into it with enthusiasm simply because it's better than his old lifestyle. There's just very little growth in the character. Morgan Freeman, who plays the head assassin leader, shows amazing acting simply because he's not bursting into laughter when his character delivers some of the most ridiculously hokey lines ever written for a man played by Morgan Freeman. For example, this is the first movie with Morgan Freeman where I've ever heard him drop the f bomb. Angelina Jolie is just playing Angelina Jolie in action movie mode, she holds a gun, she shoots, she pouts, she wears tight outfits, and she leans against things looking all sultry-like, it's not anything new to us. In the end, Wanted is just an action movie for the dumbed down Myspace generation.
2 1/4 Gomorrah's; great concept, some awesome action scenes, but ultimately pretty dumb.