Theatrical Review: Wanted

For over a thousand years, an extraordinary order of assassins called The Fraternity have existed to “balance the scales” and keep the world adjusted by the decree of Fate. With superhuman abilities, these assassins can do things that normal men can’t, and in their way, they’re protecting the world. In the present day, a young man by the name of Wesley Gibson believes himself to just barely register amongst others, think low of himself, he’s in a state of just not caring about his station in life… but all of that is about to change…

I’m keeping this one real vague, because to say any more would just lead me to say even more and really you should just discover this one for yourself. The movie I’m talking about is Wanted and adaptation of the comic mini-series from Mark Millar and J.G. Jones directed by Russian director Timur Timur Bekmambetov, who’s best known for directing the genre films Night Watch and Day Watch. And it’s just a hell of a lot of fun… and in my mind, the movie that Jumper should’ve been.

I sort of see this movie as like a comic book equivalent of Fight Club in some way, and I think if you see it, it’ll make sense. I’ve not read the comic, though I know there’s a point of major deviation from the book, but I don’t really know if it matters here, or at least it didn’t to me. But what I got was an imaginative and very fun ride, and something just a little different from the rest of the comic book movies out there.

Timur Bekmambetov certainly demonstrated with his other movies that’s he’s a strong visualist, and he continues to do so here, but this, at least to me, goes a step further and even evokes the artwork of J.G. Jones through each frame, with some shots in particular just looking like they could’ve been covers drawn by Jones.

There’s already been lots of comparisons to The Matrix in terms of both it’s structure and action scenes, and I suppose they’re going to happen, but this manages to go just a little further over-the-top, especially with it’s characters, and Bekmambetov certainly has a fine assortment of actors at work here.

James McAvoy plays Wesley Gibson, and he looked to me like he’s just been waiting to do a movie like this, he really looked like he was totally into this in a big way. He’s backed up by Angelina Jolie, Morgan Freeman, Terence Stamp, Thomas Kretschmann, Common and Hustle’s Marc Warren and they all do a great jobs, and of course Jolie just looks magnificent. I don’t really want to say too much though about the parts each of them play though, as again, I just think this needs to be seen for all to be discovered.

I’ve got to say though, I had one hell of a good time with this movie, it delivered quite the thrill-ride and had it’s own nihilistic slant that I think is a lot more relatable (at least to me) than what something like Jumper had. And it’s even inspired me to seek out the trade paperback of the original comic series, which I don’t think is a bad thing at all… obviously, highly recommended….

About Darren Goodhart

Darren Goodhart is a 44-year old St. Louis-based Graphic Designer and Illustrator (and former comic book artist) who's been seeing movies all his life, but on an almost weekly basis in theatres for the last 20 years and owns nearly 1,000 DVDs for his home theatre. He's learned a lot about film over the 20 year period, and has taken his appreciation beyond the mainstream. His favorite types of film are mostly genre entertainment, but he also enjoys a wide range of drama, action and cult-y stuff from around the world, and is currently re-discovering a love affair with lower budget exploitation and genre films from the 70s and early 80s. He doesn't try to just dismiss any film, but if there's a bias against one, he'll certainly tell you that in the space of his reviews.

29. June 2008 by Darren Goodhart
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