Monday, September 01, 2008

WANTED: MOVIE REVIEW

Cast: James McAvoy, Angelina Jolie, Morgan Freeman, Terence Stamp
Director: Timur Bekmambetov
Runtime: 110 min.
Rating: Zero Stars
Genre: Action, Comedy

        I hated this movie. I hated, hated, hated, and hated this movie. I absolutely hated this movie. I absolutely hated every pretentious mindless heartless senseless tasteless minute of this movie.
        Wow, there you go! Some of that feels vented out. Let us get started by saying that if Bourne and the Jackal were to sit over a couple of beers and watch this film on a rented DVD in some obscure hotel room in some remote destination somewhere in Europe, I think they might have laughed it off with utter disdain. But they might afford being kind of cold, and I am not. This isn’t funny, this isn’t entertainment and this definitely isn’t action. At least, not from the scope I’m looking things at.
        Curving bullets is a nice idea, and nice ideas are always welcome. But they have a half-life of probably five minutes, maybe ten, and beyond that they start to get on the nerves. And beyond they jump over them, and then stamp all over mashing them to pulp. Other than curving bullets and slow-motions action sequences involving flying cars attempting somersaults, there isn’t much in this 110 minute assault. I was resisting, and I had the strong urge to leave, but something inside steeled itself. I willed myself through the film, as if enduring it would accomplish a grand feat for me worthy of a recounting on a later date. I seriously think it was a bad idea.
        There is no plot, and that excuse they’re parading seems to have been written as they went along. I’ll bet there wasn’t a story when production started, and what they have at the end of it is something that has a memory span of five seconds. Every which way. It doesn’t believe in anything, and all the moral talk is as hollow as the gun barrels on display. Wesley Gibson (McAvoy) is a disgruntled office bee who seeks meaning to his life. He is contacted by The Fraternity (seriously?) that lays out his true identity in front of him, i.e. he’s the son of their best assassin who has just been executed by a rogue member. The rogue, going by the name of Cross is killing of the members one by one. Gibson is trained to deal with Cross, and herein I got confused. Once trained Gibson is asked to be an assassin just like the others. What about the deal with Cross? He isn’t killing anybody no more? Don’t look at me, and don’t look at the film either. They don’t have the answers themselves. I think they got the plot from that loom too. Maybe an error while decoding.
        The film derives its pleasure from its scenes of physical punishment, which frankly aren’t going anywhere apart from displaying a whole lot of blood and sounding off a whole lot of the f-word. This is like the fantasy of a crazy child where everybody seeks thrill in hurting the other. For no particular reason. The film’s moral compass isn’t off the track because it does not have one. The Fraternity claim they do it for the greater good, for saving thousands but you know that is a whole lot of horsedung when a train full of passengers are thrown down a gorge just for something as trivial as a moment of thrill. The most disgusting part is that it isn’t even memorable. It is just things falling down, or flying or blowing up.
        A few months ago, one of my friends pinged me in the middle of the night and asked me how Wanted was. She is in California, and I guess the film was being shown in her university. I hadn’t watched it, but going by the trailer it was a no-brainer that this one was mindless. I conveyed, she saw, and she echoed my prediction. A few days later, she went in and saw The Dark Knight, and she was plain blown away. I went in there to the movies with some kind of weird experimental frame of mind, and the central specimen felt to be The Dark Knight. Part of me wondered how would it hold up on a thirteenth viewing and the rest was wondering how truly phenomenal is its action when compared to an all-out boom-boom exercise as Wanted. The former thrilled me, yet again, the action sequences gripped me, yet again. The latter bored me, and at halftime my yawns were running neck and neck with the bullets that were fired. Everything here feels so predictable, so thoroughly lacking in energy of any form. There is no pace whatsoever, and occasionally my watch seemed to be in need of a battery replacement. This isn’t stunts for action-junkies; this is one for the pretenders who would wince handling the real deal. Probably the entire film has been shot on a computer. It wasn’t fun at all. It was pain.
        This is a cruel and oppressive film, one that is stupid enough in its retarded fetishes not to comprehend it. This is the kind of low-IQ film that must have watched Fight Club and thought, wow, this Durden guy must be cool. This is the kind of adolescent exercise that thinks blasting off the f-word ought to be considered stylish. I wasn’t entertained, I felt assaulted. Smug in its hollow overdone style, the ending has Gibson ask us – What the f*** have you done lately? Well, I wasted 110 minutes of my life assaulting myself.

1 comment:

Sam Spade said...

I don't agree with you.Who goes to watch action flick (and that too like 'Wanted') by expecting its mind would be in place? 'cause I don't. And I expect nobody should expect anything outstanding from a Technical Excellence-centric comic book adaptation. Besides, there are certain areas which are worth applauding like Angelina Jolie who has immense expression-conveying power through paltry playing and stunning special effects which are thoroughly enjoyable.