Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Wanted

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The DVD release reminded me that I had neglected to post my thoughts on this... meh. Okay, I can do better than that. I’m a big fan of Russian director Timur Bekmambetov -- now that’s a mouthful -- “Day Watch” and “Night Watch” were fun supernatural/action flicks bursting with energy. “Wanted” seemed like a great opportunity to showcase his unique vision for mainstream American audiences... didn’t turn out that way. Sure, there are tons of cool set pieces, big stunts and lots of stylized action, but it just sits there like a lump of coal.

It’s hard to ignore the obvious “Matrix” parallels: wimpy hero stuck at a crappy job, beautiful woman comes along, takes him through the looking glass to a secret place with other special people, where a wise black man explains his true path. “The Matrix” doesn’t have a monopoly on this particular storyline, but it’s still fresh in a lot of minds. The script is a good read -- alas, some of my favorite scenes didn’t make the cut. I did like the mystical bit about the loom, and Fox is a far more honorable character in the film than in the draft that I read. It’s a solid action film, but even with Jolie and all her bells and whistles, nothing special. Look, I know it’s a film about assassins, not about folks who work at a teddy bear factory. If you’re looking for a violent popcorn flick, “Wanted” fits the bill -- made a ton of scratch and somehow they’re gonna do a sequel or prequel -- it’s just not the best popcorn flick it could be.

Would’ve been interesting to see the actors who inspired the graphic novel, Halle Berry and Eminem, in the lead roles.

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