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WANTED **** (2008) DVD Review by SEBASTIAN

Posted on December 4th, 2008
Posted on December 4th, 2008


Is “Wanted” starring James McAvoy and Angelina Jolie the new “Matrix”. The answer is no. But I don’t think that filmmaker Bekmambetov was really trying to do that. Sure he rips it off and plenty of other genre and non-genre films to boot, but that’s not what this movie is all about. Its about having a rip-roaring stylized adventure at the cinema.

The story is cool enough, but (like most movies) a mish-mash of what came before it. Office drone Wesley (McAvoy) is wondering what went wrong in his life. He feels useless and has panic attacks (which are actually just genetically inherited super-human abilities coming to the forefront). All this changes when assassin Fox (Jolie)and her organization of meta-humans save Wesley from death. He learns about his powers and his place in this “Fraternity” of assassins, as its known, who derive their list of targets from a giant loom. Expect the same type of plot twists as you would in any other genre film and look for some of the most super-ramped up pacing I’ve ever seen and laugh out loud at this outlandish movie, because it too is laughing at itself right up to the overly serious ending.

This is a film that does not take itself seriously and that’s a very good thing. Forget about why these people came to be like they are and go along with the ride. Its an adrenaline filled flick. Its also about as profane and violent as a movie can get, so if that turns you off, skip it.

I thought James McAvoy was brilliant in this, mixing the angst and humor of a character like Jack in Fight Club with the save-the-world, messianic type of quality that we see in films like “The Matrix” and “Dune” I also sensed a little of Mad Max in there. Jolie, as usual looks really pretty and acts really tough, while hardly ever uttering a word. Not that it’s a bad thing. Every character except for Wesley is just a stereotypical piece of eye-candy. And that’s not a bad thing either. The whole movie is so stylish and furiously in your face, that you feel like you just got back from the gym by the time you’re done.

This isn’t good cinema. This isn’t about something meaningful. This IS a stilted film. And its hilarious! The action is cool, yet goofy enough for you to have fun laughing at it. This is not a film obsessed with character or plot even. This is an action film, and a really good one at that. If you don’t over-analyze things and just go along for the ride, I think you’ll have fun.

All the production elements are off the board! I was disappointed by director Bekmambetov’s previous film “Nightwatch“. I just didn’t think it was stylish enough. That is something you can’t point to in this film. Everything from the cinematography and editing to the score and the sets is top-notch in my book. Even the costume are cutting edge classic.

My only problem with the film was that it was a bit too graphic at times for my taste. It can come across as brutish and arch some of the time. But don’t worry about that. Check this one out! It rocks!

4 of 5 stars

Trailer below:

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