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Wanted – Movie Review

August 31, 2008

Wanted, directed by Timur Bekmambetov and starring James McAvoy, Morgan Freeman and Angelina Jolie, is one of the sickest movies I have seen and it’s not because the movie is violent. It’s the way the violence is handled and I agree wholeheartedly with Amy Biancolli’s review in the Houston Chronicle when she says:

But no one comes to a movie like Wanted looking for emotional resonance. They’re looking for bling, which in this genre means plenty of stylized butchery. It’s a chance to watch a bullet explode from the forehead of a killer — and an invitation to laugh at the spectacle. See what you do, then tell me who’s sicker: Bekmambetov or us.

The movie, based on Mark Millar’s 2003 comic-book series, is about a secret society of assassins and the story makes it necessarily violent, but the movie overdoes it. The movie is a celebration of violence, a spectacle of violence, a vulgar display of violence. No, not vulgar because the movie is certainly cool and classy when it comes to special effects and the treatment. Brilliance there is in the screenplay…but it’s difficult for me to imagine any sane person actually painstakingly crafting this movie, violent and bloody scene after scene after scene…but then that’s because horror films horrify me. No, this isn’t the horror genre, it’s supposed to be Action/Adventure, but I guess no movie really fits neatly into any slot these days.

This New York Times review mentions that there was a little sex scene, but not surprisingly, our prudish Indian censor board has cut it but has got on with the violence. Ofcourse, if they cut the violence there would be nothing left, not even Angelina Jolie.

But if anyone is looking for thrills of the woman kind, forget it. Jolie is a lean mean killing machine and that’s it. James McAvoy comes across as cute and does a great job as a ninny turned ninja. If it wasn’t for him, I couldn’t have sat through the move. Although I like Jolie, I didn’t like her in this movie.

As for the story it’s ridiculous. Would not qualify even for a fantasy. Its incoherence is only matched by the incoherent pace of the movie.

What surprised me were the rave reviews this movie got abroad (it was released there in June). I guess the reviewers are right in a way. Technically this film seems flawless and fit for horror film buffs. The film a complete no-no for kids. And abroad it’s been rated R (Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian). Considering the level of violence I think any squeamish person needs some company, even if adult.

I was disappointed as I wasn’t quite prepared for this kind of gory horror.

(The movie poster is from rottentomatoes)

Related Reading: More Movie Reviews

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. August 31, 2008 1:43 pm

    Is this fantasy? Sci-fi? I’m a big sucker for these genres!

    yeah, a mix of both. – nita.

  2. August 31, 2008 1:58 pm

    oh! …I liked this movie, the whole new funda but kept me hooked.

    I guess this movie will have its fans. I am too squeamish! – nita.

  3. August 31, 2008 2:51 pm

    Did u watch 2 movies in one day??? U should have better gone for Wall-E!!!! :P
    ~Huge animation fan

    hullo animation fan! I’ ve seen wall-e!! :P one movie on friday, another on saturday, and one on sunday! :) – nita.

  4. August 31, 2008 5:27 pm

    What are you doing? Watching movies left right and center?? :P
    I sort of sensed that I am not going to like it. Will download and waste my time. :)

  5. September 1, 2008 7:27 pm

    Two films which were more of a commentary on (as opposed to an exhibition of) violence I am tempted to recall are A Clockwork Orange (Kubrick) and Funny Games (Haneke). The former was a cult and is accused of glorification of violence as an art form, but also hailed for capturing the susceptibility of the human spirit to violent behavior. The latter is an avant, underground piece, intended as a biting commentary on our desensitization to violence by Hollywood.

    Thanks for your prolific, informative and highly unbiased blog. I’ll keep visiting!

    thanks Pavan! And welcome to my blog. :) I haven’t seen those films you mentioned but have heard of them. – nita.

  6. September 1, 2008 7:50 pm

    You sure watch a lot of movies.
    I want to watch Wall-E, not sure if I will watch it at theatre.
    I love animation, but mostly the Shrek kind or animals talking. :)

    Wall e is cute but not as good as shrek. its all between machines. and well, I guess I do watch a lot of movies, but it’s in phases. at times I don’t catch a movie for several weeks, if my week-ends are busy. Usually I try and relax on week-ends. – nita.

  7. September 1, 2008 8:09 pm

    Wanted is a technically brilliant movie…I enjoyed the Movie…

  8. September 2, 2008 11:37 am

    Horror movie? Did we watch the same movie? I actually found this movie to be quite funny, a perfect fit for the Accidental Comedy genre.

    The flaws in the movie are too many to count; and that doesn’t even include the “curving bullet”. This is perhaps the first time we have had a consensus on a movie, albeit for differing reasons.

    A really good blood and gore movie (not a horror movie), for those that might be interested; Dead Man’s Shoes, starring Paddy Considine of In America and PU-239 fame.

    well, you know what I mean. Not “horror” horror. But ah hah…accidental comedy. Now that’s an interesting way of looking at i. From that point of view, yeah!! – nita.

  9. September 2, 2008 11:46 am

    Nita, given your stated queasiness for violent and gore movies, Haneke’s Funny Games isn’t a great bet. But then most of Haneke’s movies are meant for those with stronger stomachs.

    Having said that, you will be missing out on some great commentary on modern day life if you don’t watch his movies. In fact, if there is one movie I liked better than Funny Games, it would have to be The Seventh Continent, which is perhaps a little less violent, but no less revolting.

  10. September 2, 2008 6:47 pm

    You know the trailer was awesome. A. Jolie was hot. I am a sucker for sci-fi/fantasy genre. I might watch this on DVD.

  11. September 6, 2008 9:32 am

    How disappointing. James McAvoy is one of my favorite young actors. He was great in The Last King of Scotland. Poor choice on his part.

  12. September 8, 2008 5:22 pm

    I personally liked her (Angelina) in this movie. She looked gorgeous!

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