People coming out of the theater where I saw Wanted were talking about the action and the effects. Both are worthy of being talked about, but it’s nothing you haven’t seen before. Or rather, at least the effects use techniques you’ve seen before but with results you haven’t seen.
possible minor spoilers after the jump
In the opening action sequence, director Timur Bekmambetov borrows heavily from the Wachowski Brothers. Time slows down; men are able to complete amazing stunts. What you haven’t seen before is a bullet exiting someone’s forehead in slow motion, pushing the skin outward in a bulge before breaking through.
That pretty much sums up Wanted. You’ve seen the technology before. You’ve watched movies with a similar plot before. You’ve seen Angelina Jolie handle a gun before. But you haven’t seen how it all adds up in Wanted. And that makes it worth watching.
I hadn’t read the graphic novel by Mark Millar and J.G. Jones. I don’t know if it would fill in some of the plot holes that crop up in Wanted. To be fair, these plot holes aren’t that distracting and they’re the type found in any action movie. But I wondered how a group of medieval weavers changed into a secret society of assassins. I wondered how Gibson (played decently by James McAvoy in his first action hero role) and the other Weavers could curve bullets. Is it genetic? Is it something everyone could do? I wondered why it took Gibson so long to ask why the assassins assassinate.
I also wondered why Terrence Stamp shows up in a small role. Did the character have a bigger role in the comic book? Because it seemed a waste of Stamp’s talents to have him take over what is more or less Morgan Freeman’s role in Batman Begins. Speaking of Freeman, he doesn’t seem to give his role in Wanted his all. Everyone else seems to be having a good time with it. At times, Freeman looks like he’s being forced to do this as part of some larger studio deal.
I wanted to spend more time with the rest of the characters though. Common, who’s a hip-hop artist I don’t know, does an excellent job as Gunsmith. I wanted to know the past of the Butcher, the Repairman and the Exterminator.
This isn’t a movie that teaches you something about the human condition. It’s a movie with Danny Elfman, Nine Inch Nails and Andrea Bocelli on the soundtrack. It’s a movie with lots of blood, bullets and intense looks on the stars’ faces. It’s a movie that you get some popcorn and settle in for an enjoyable 108 minutes.