Wanted

I’m pretty sure thousands of fans would like to blow me to smithereens for the following sentence, but here we go: halfway through the movie I was ready to rate Wanted higher than The Dark Knight. And that’s when the plot went cuckoo.

Here’s my thing: I hate movies like The Bourne Ultimatum which pretend to be the thinking man’s Bond. If such movies are any part of the thinking man, it’s probably his anus. If you have seen the movie, you may remember Bourne being chased on a motorbike, happening to see the little block of wood that allows him to jump, glide and drive off a free man. Credible? I think not!

Over to Wanted then where a man manage to improve the long jump record by 77 metres and an inch whilst killing off half a dozen assassins. Too bad for him his opponent had planned this and shoots a bullet through the man’s head from a building at least five blocks away. Credible? Who cares!

Yes, the one and only solution to keeping your action movie credible (apart from only using credible stuff, but who does that these days) is chucking all the credibility out of the picture in the very first minute. Though director Bekmambetov still managed to alienate me with plot lines even he’ll confess aren’t the most ingenious. The Fraternity, an organization led by Morgan Freeman (champagne by the way, it’s the 500th time Morgan gets to play almost the same role with the same lines), uses a cover-up so implausible it’s only there for one scene (the scene where James McAvoy tests his skills). Apart from that… erm, so that’s how Fate has been communicating for 1000 years? Really??

But yes, every scene in this movie seems to have only one of two functions: either it’s an action scene or it’s a scene that helps to lead up to the next action scene. And the action scenes are flabbergasting. It took me to the train chase to get my regular feeling of “oh yes, action scenes, how boring”: I’m pretty sure no train conductor will get the brainless idea of using the emergency brakes when the train is speeding over a narrow ridge between seemingly endless mountains. But hey, it’s action.

On the plus side, Wanted isn’t as brainless as it looks. There are several hints throughout the film that’ll make sense once you’ve seen the finale. (Look at me, all proud I spotted a hint noone else of my group seemed to have noticed…) Only that should give this film a score of 7/10. Sadly, the explosions can’t cover up the emptiness of the plot and the fact that Morgan Freeman and Angelina Jolie are only there because Fate likes typecasting. Erm, we need an action babe with lots of tattoos and Asia Argento isn’t available. Anyone an idea?

Verdict: 5 out of 10

P.S. And, as part of our Rappers Acting In Movies double bill, we went from Common in Wanted to The X-Files: I Want To Believe. Tomorrow you’ll get to read my analysis of that film, which will mark the 100th post on Avenue Kurtodrome.

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3 thoughts on “Wanted

  1. deeopey August 13, 2008 / 22:02

    Only too happy to give this one a miss then.

    Day Watch near killed my interest in Bekmambetov as a film-maker.

  2. Kurtodrome August 14, 2008 / 08:34

    I didn’t even go and see that one. I hoped the foreign experience would make him return to the light. Apparently not.

  3. Deeopey August 14, 2008 / 10:47

    I’m all for ludicrousness in my action films (I’ll admit a penchant for the recent Bond and Bournes though). I’d recommend Crank and Shoot ’em Up for some of the very best big-budget action trash. Neither of those films has any story to speak of.

    In Day Watch it was the story that got in the way, a silliness of story is much more difficult to rectify than stupid action.

    For low budget stupidity the Japanese seem to rule the roost Battlefield Baseball, Machine Girl, etc..

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