HOW TO CURVE A BULLET.
Comic book movies have come a long way from just being standard kiddy fare. This year has brought us a slew of comic book films that have been treated with a level of respect that it so desperately deserved since the 1980’s Captain America movie. You are probably wondering why there is a long winded introduction to comic book movies in a review for the recently released “WANTED,” I can assure you there is a method to my madness.
The film stars Angelina Jolie, Morgan Freeman, and that dude who played the gay Faun in the Chronicles of Narnia…okay his name is James McAvoy, but I’m sure I just answered the thousands of “where the hell is this kid from again” questions a lot of you had while watching the movie. It tells the tale of a nobody by the name of Wesley Gibson (James McAvoy) who upon meeting the beautiful assassin “Fox” (Angelina Jolie) who changes his life from being a neurotic accounts manager, to becoming an Assassin working for a secret society known as the Fraternity. Of course this is not a case of a “chance meeting,” instead Fox was sent to protect Wesley from the man who just killed his father, who apparently was “the greatest assassin that ever lived,” and of course Wesley decides to leave his humdrum life to follow in his fathers footsteps and track down his killer.
It’s an amazing premise, however it’s one we’ve all seen before. With that said, the way that the premise was executed here was original enough to separate it from the rest. Now that still does not deter this movie from being compared to Fight Club and The Matrix. In fact, this movie IS the direct result of “Fight Club” having drunken unprotected sex with “The Matrix” in the back of a strip club. It may be a great premise, but that doesn’t make this movie perfect…it’s far from it.
A lot of people don’t realize that this movie is based on a six-issue 2003 comic released by “Top Cow” with the same name. There are a lot of elements in the movie that were taken directly from the comic book, from Wesley’s “office drone” type job and dull beginnings to the special abilities he possesses. Where it differs is the fact that the story is ultimately about “Superheroes” and “Super villains” but I guess I understand why they eliminated that aspect from the adaptation. Probably because “Super powered beings” would seem too farfetched in a movie about assassins that can run at super speed, shoot wings off flies, and do incredible car stunts and curve bullets…let’s not forget taking wax baths to heal wounds.
That’s where the film fails to reach perfection. I find it funny that a movie based on a comic tries to hide the fact that it is INDEED a comic book movie using ”realistic” changes (Assassins instead of Superheroes), yet it retains it’s outlandish and far-fetched ideas and action sequences. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a very fun ride, once you accept the fact that it’s simply a movie where you leave logic at the door and prepare yourself to suspend your disbelief. At times though, the film seems a little too quick, and too confusing, however the twists and turns this movie takes you will put M. Night to shame. Bottom line is, hearing Mr. Morgan Freeman call someone a “Mother Fucker” is truly well worth the admission price.
Wesley Gibson (James McAvoy) is an office worker whose life is going nowhere. After his estranged father is murdered, he meets Fox (Angelina Jolie), who recruits him into the Fraternity, a secret society of assassins which takes its orders from Fate itself. Fox and Sloan (Morgan Freeman), the Fraternity's leader, teach Wesley to tap into dormant powers. Though he enjoys his newfound abilities, he begins to suspect that there is more to the Fraternity than meets the eye.
Action, Crime, Fantasy
Director: Timur Bekmambetov
Writers: Michael Brandt (screenplay), Derek Haas (screenplay)
Stars: Angelina Jolie, James McAvoy, Morgan Freeman
Running time approximately 110 minutes
June 27, 2008 (USA)
+ Angelina Jolie
+ Morgan Freeman's potty mouth
- Not enough Jolie buttocks