Archive for March 14th, 2009


What I’m Watching: Wanted

WantedI am not, to be perfectly honest, a fan of writer Mark Millar. I don’t typically like his comics, and I was not a fan of the Wanted comic book. Still, as part of my Herculean (or, as others have called it, “idiotic”) quest to view every comic book movie there is, I recently pulled Wanted down from NetFlix and gave it a view this morning.

Wanted is the tale of Wesley Gibson (James McAvoy),an office drone whose girlfriend is cheating on him with his best friend, whose boss is an overbearing shrew, and for whom the highlight of his day is the train passing by in the morning. Out of the blue, he’s approached by a curvaceous, gun-toting superbabe (Angelina Jolie) and told his father was a member of an ancient Fraternity of assassins, and that he is to be trained to take dear ol’ dad’s place. As the training begins to change Wesley on a fundamental level, his life is finally coming together — too bad his own name is next on the hit list.

Wanted is a flashy, big-budget action spectacle that is utterly without heart, without soul, and without a brain. The characters in this movie are, without exception, disgusting, unlikable people without the slightest trace of a redeeming quality. Wesley goes from a spineless doormat to an obnoxious “bad boy,” Fox is the stereotypical bad girl, and Solan (the usually-wonderful Morgan Freeman) is a poor excuse for a leader.

The sad thing is, the characters are virtually the only thing this movie has in common with the comic. The decision to pluck the characters from a society to supervillains to one of assassins seems totally nonsensical. The way the assassins get the names of their next target is patently absurd, and I’m about to spoil it here, so if you haven’t seen the movie go back and look at the pictures of the Hellboy action figures again.

The assassins run a textile mill, and somehow they search the fabric they weave for an embedded “secret code” of weaving mistakes, which somehow or another — via binary code — gives them the name of the target. Where do I start? First off, where do the names come from? Why would a sect of 11th century Monks, looking at these mistakes, come up with a system of ONES AND ZEROES (aside from something like, say, “over” and “under”) to designate the mistakes? And how would that code coincidentally correspond with a computer language developed 1,000 years later? Maybe if there was some sort of revelation that binary code had been based on the weavings… it would have made a little more sense…

Anyway, I’m just sort of rambling now. The point is, this is a film full of pretty special effects, but totally devoid of logic or any characters worth investing yourself in. If you haven’t done so already, don’t waste your time.

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