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wanted
Click for full sized poster

Wanted

Starring Angelina Jolie, James McAvoy, Morgan Freeman, Terence Stamp, Thomas Kretschmann, Common
Screenplay by Michael Brandt, Derek Haas, Chris Morgan
Based on the comic series by Mark Millar and J. G. Jones
Directed by Timur Bekmambetov
website: www.wantedmovie.com

IN SHORT: pointless. [Rated R for for strong bloody violence throughout, pervasive language and some sexuality. 110 minutes]

We don't compare to Source Material and, despite the monumental fanboy that we are, don't recollect ever seeing Mark Millar's original comic book series on whichh this film is based. It isn't that he's a lesser talent. Millar, along with Brian Michael Bendis is pretty much remapping the Marvel Comics universe even as we write. And doing a very nice  job of it. Onwards . . .

It is a staple of college level philosophical - slash - sociological debate:  IF you could go back in time to kill Adolf Hitler or Pol Pot or Idi Amin, thereby saving the lives of millions of people who otherwise would have died a horrible death, would you?

What if you were a scrawny nothing. A couple of years out of college, working that accounting degree in a cubicle in a corporation; your existence being ground into nothingness by an obese, abusive and otherwise thoroughly dislikable supervisor called Janice. (You never liked the name Janice, either, but that's something to take up with the corporate psychiatrist . . . except that Janice won't give you the comp time to see the shrink and you just want to ... want to...). Even worse, your hot mamma blonde girlfriend is doing the nasty with your best friend, every morning just minutes after you leave for your cubicle.

So what do you suppose one Wesley Gibson (James McAvoy) does when when an incredibly hot angel on earth starts his day with the news that the father who abandoned the family when Wes was just days old, has been brutally murdered by the Forces of Evil. [OK, after you do the little happy dance 'cuz, hey, the dirt bag deserted y'all] and that you are being offered the chance to hunt down the killer, before said killer takes out his next target. You.

The forces of Good are called The Fraternity. An organization formed a thousand years ago by weavers who realized that their loom was magic -- weaving kill orders into the cloth it produces. Orders now translated by team leader Sloan (Morgan Freeman), who extends an invitation to Wesley to join the team. To be way more than he can be. To track down and kill a guy called Cross (Thomas Kretschmann) the murderer of the Father he has never known. Cross gets his bullets custom made by a guy named Pekwarsky (Terence Stamp) who we could otherwise ignore in this summary except that no fanboy dare ignore the actor who played General Zod, especially in a film which adapts yet another comic book to the big screen.

As stupid as that reads in black and white, the pretty pictures on screen make it all better and get you through the dumbness of the story, a The Matrix wannabe for a new century. Go with the flow . . .

Accepting the invitation,  Fox (Angelina Jolie) and her team of supers [The Repairman (Marc Warren), The Gunsmith (Common), The Exterminator (Konstantin Khabensky), and the Butcher (Dato Bakhtadze)] beat the bloody crap out of the boy, just the first day of many days of beating the crap out of the boy until he becomes stronger, faster, and superior to all of 'em. Another super, appropriately named The Pharmacist (Brian Caspe) oversees a speeded up recuperative period, involving a tank filled with wax and who knows what kind of pharmaceuticals?

And so unspools  a perfect comic book cum teevee fantasy story, one which looks so fabulous that whatever story is driving underneath is secondary to the looks. We've seen it way too many times before, each and every summer back to the beginning of our days. And while we were bored silly by the time the film was done, the GenX'ers around us -- you know, the ones who think they're watching television and won't shut the heck up all during the movie -- cheered heartily.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Wanted, he would have paid . . .

$3.00

For the first time in a very long career Cranky must admit, I'm too old for this [stuff]. Even my so-called "inner child" was bored.

One very brief nude scene by Jolie will get replayed again and again and again and again for all the boyos out there.

amazon com link Click to buy films by Timur Bekmambetov
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The Cranky Critic website is Copyright © 1995  -  2017  by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.