Sunday, July 6, 2008
Your small children probably shouldn't see "Wanted".
Seriously. When I went to see Wanted today, the couple behind me had two kids under the age of ten with them. What part of rated "R", nudity, profanity, and OMG it's about assassins killing each other made this sound like a great flick for the munchkins? I try not to really judge about stuff like that, but really, having small people kick the back of your seat and talking when you're trying to enjoy the nudity, profanity and gratuitous violence is very trying.
That PSA out of the way, Wanted is a movie that has a pretty simple premise:
Ever look around your crappy workplace and look at your crappy life and ask, "Who do I have to kill to get out of this?" Well, the answer for Wesley Gibson (James McEvoy) is that he has to kill the man who killed his father, who left him days after he was born, because he's a genetic freak with super-assasin abilities just waiting to be tapped, and only he can kill the other super-assasin that did it. Or so say the freaky people who listen to a loom. For their hit assignments.
Forgive me. I am a reasonable person. I actually enjoyed this movie quite a lot while I was watching it. It is gratuitously violent fun with extraordinary effects, and the acting really is quite good--Morgan Freeman? Angelina Jolie? Forget about it. I can put my brain on hold, sit back, relax, and let the bright lights and fast-moving objects impress my impressionable sensorium. But there were places my credulity-meter just went off.
Bullet trajectories bending. Yeah. That one was a little rough for my brain to wrap up in a pretty "Shush, it's a movie and these are special assassins" bow.
Wesley convinces himself he should become an assassin and take down the guy they tell him was his father--without so much as a call to like, his mom or anybody. ("Mom, about Dad...yeah, the bastard. Um, did he ever mention anything about being, I dunno, a superassassin? Oh he was? Oh, cool. Oh, nothing, just asking...")
They take their orders to whack people from a loom. Which spells out who to whack in some kind of dropped-weave binary code. How anyone gets that these random names are supposed to be put on a hit-list is a stretch, but here's a thought--
What kind of money do looms put up for a hit? Seriously? These are skilled highly trained professionals whose talents would be worth quite a bit, but what kind of money does a loom offer? Sure, it's the Loom of Fate and the people whose names it spits out may need killing, but there are many practical considerations falling by the wayside with this enterprise. How does a secret organization last 1000 years, taking orders from a warped machine? Woof.
I guess I come back to that question because what apparently puts Wesley over and into this enterprise is finding that the assets of his father "which are considerable" we are told in the movie, have been transferred to him. It's over $3mill. That's huge for a lifetime of whacking people the loom told you to.
But the mind-boggling bits aside, the story comes rounding back to that eternal question--who are you? In the beginning of the tale, he's a schlub, a guy so meek his harpy boss seems to delight in riding his cubicle-bound ass and whose best friend is riding his harpy girlfriend's...um, this movie is not one for the positive girl-role-models. He doesn't like who he is. He was meant to be something else, he sees the opportunity, and he takes it.
Not a terribly moral movie, and like I said--plotholes aplenty. But I still liked it in the odd way I like unapologetically big, bad, films. If you can suspend your disbelief, you can enjoy it.
And no, I never did read the comic books, which I understand this movie has really deviated from. I may check them out.