Saturday, July 19, 2008

Wanted (2008)

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Wanted does exactly what it was set out to do; that being to appease the appetite of the mindless summer movie watcher with guns, girls, and gore. This film is the very definition of a Hollywood action movie and boasts all the necessary ingredients including dazzling fight sequences, stunning CGI, a mind-bending plot, and Angelina Jolie. To top it all off, the writers try to add layers upon layers of depth and allusions to societal pressures to fit in, be successful, and do the right thing, a message that resonates perfectly with the target audience. James McAvoy (Atonement) stars as Wesley Gibson, a down-and-out office worker frustrated with the repetition and monotony of his everyday life. When he finds out his dad, who has been missing since the day he was born, was a deadly, superhuman assassin, he realizes his destiny to become a member of "The Fraternity" and follow in his father's footsteps, avenging his death. Morgan Freeman plays Sloan, the leader of the Fraternity, in a performance that could literally be exactly the same as at least five other Freeman roles in the past decade. Jolie as Fox and Common as Gunsmith are members of the Fraternity and help train Wesley to attain his supernatural assasin abilities. Wanted may be one of the most cliched movies of all time, and is essentially the textbook example of an action movie. There are so many elements contrived from other films its difficult to keep count by the time the credits roll. Some scenes are so generic they become painful to watch, while others are so fast-paced, visually impressive, or downright hot (Jolie) that you can't take your eyes off the screen. The last twenty minutes involve so many plot twists that they seem to happen just for the sake of throwing the audience off the right path. The nerdy action lover who can recite lines from the Matrix series will probably follow along and find genius within the writers efforts to make a statement about taking control of your life and creating your own destiny. The rest of us won't understand what happened or why and won't care enough to figure it out either. Wanted is pure sleaze and proud of it, and people will either love or hate it for exactly that reason.

Good for: action fans, drunk people, someone not in the mood to think, Jolie fans

Bad for: artists, people bothered by violence

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