Wanted - An Unwanted Disappointment


Well, Last night I went to see Wanted with my wife. I hadn’t really read any of the reviews, so I didn’t quite know what to expect. What I didn’t expect was a movie that veered so far from its source material that it is pretty bizarre they actually used the title. That just seems odd to me, oh well, read on, and I’ll try to give it an unbiased review

Intense research has shown that 80% of readers skip to the end of a review, so if you are one of these people with a short attention span, I’ll save you the effort, with a quick summary: If you have not read the Wanted comic, and you are willing to leave your brain at home, then you might find something enjoyable in this movie, especially if you like to see stuff get blown up, the laws of physics ignored, and people killed in gruesome and “original ways”.

Able to make it through the last paragraph? Good news: you don’t have Attention Deficit Disorder; therefore, you will most likely not enjoy this movie! By the way, that statistic was totally made up, but hey the ones of you with the will to read this far probably already suspected it to be false.

For those of you have have read Wanted, you will really not want to go into this movie expecting anything akin to the plot of the book, the film veers from the original with about 5 minutes. Luckily for me it has been a long while since I read the original comic in monthly format, so I couldn’t really remember much of the plot, so comparing it to the source wasn’t in my mind as this film assaulted my senses. Wanted opens with a man who is supposedly the world’s greatest assassin being murdered on a rooftop. This man’s estranged son, Wesley Gibson, is then hunted down by the killer of his father, but is rescued by a woman, with the code name Fox, into a secret society of assassins called ‘The Fraternity’. The Fraternity are a 1000 year old brotherhood of assassins who are able to bend bullets around targets, and receive the names of their targets from a code derived from the missed stitch on the world’s largest Loom. Doesn’t make sense to you? It doesn’t matter, stuff starts to get blown up pretty quickly, people’s faces get blown off in vivid detail, and the ‘bullet-time’ action scenes are laid on very thickly. If you’ve ever wanted to see what happens when two bullets meet each other head on, this is the film for you, in fact it happens 4 or 5 times in one scene! This films feels like it was written and directed by the bastard child of Michael Bay and Uwe Boll, and that isn’t even possible! For a while I thought maybe the director was parodying the action genre with the completely over-the-top action scenes, but the more I think about it, the less I think that was the case. This movie was just an FX gore fest with absolutely no content, and just tries to distract you from that fact with its extremely fast and full-on action. It almost gets away with it too! One of the most ridiculous scenes is when Wesley hits his best friend (who is sleeping with his girlfriend) in the face with his ergonomic keyboard, and all the keys fly out of the keyboard in ‘bullet-time’ to spell out “fuck you” in front of the camera lens, with the ‘U’ actually being formed by the root of a knocked out tooth! Yes, that is very dumb. If you have read the book you’ll know that Wesley says “Fuck You!” to everyone in his former life, but the really overuse this phrase in the movie, much like “Bollocks!” was overused in the V for Vendetta movie. Grr!

One good thing about this movie is that it made me come home and pick up my recently purchased Wanted Assassin’s Edition, and re-read it from cover to cover. I was up till about 3 a.m. reading it and all its bonus material. The book is better than I remembered it being, it is Mark Millar at his grittiest and goriest. This is really the same ‘adult’ comic territory explored by Garth Ennis in titles such as Preacher and The Boys. It could be really easy to read this comic just for it’s shock factor and its intended offensiveness, but if you were to dig deeper, and read between the lines you would really find that this is more of a love affair with the comics of our youth, and a lament to innocence lost. In the comic The Fraternity is a secret society of super villains that, in 1986, took over the world and killed all of the super heroes. They then built a reality altering device disguised as the Empire State Building and made people forget all about how the world used to be. This is an obvious shot at DC’s Crisis on Infinite Earths maxi-series published around that time, but if you really look at it you will notice that in the time of the super heroes the world was happy and clean, and there were no wars. After reality changed, the super villains changed the world to be more gritty and realistic, things are no longer black and white, but everything is just shades of grey. This is really a reference to how, around that time, comics changed from being happy- go-lucky four colour classics to being more gritty and realistic, with the advent of titles such as Watchmen, and The Dark Knight Returns. Millar isn’t insulting these titles, but merely saying that since these titles were published, everyone has felt the need to outdo what has come before, getting darker and darker until the point where our super hero titles now contain rape and murder. Millar just takes this theme to its extreme, and holds it up to the light to show how you can have too much of a good thing. This is the same thing that Frank Miller himself is doing with his current All-Star Batman and Robin title; Miller has watched Batman get darker over the years, and has decided that it is too much, and is parodying the style he himself started. For those wondering, yes, I did just analyze a comic with characters called Fuckwit, and Shithead. What of it?

Oh, and if you have read the Wanted comic you will recall that the last two pages deliver the reader with a metaphorical punch in the face for reading though the series. The end of the movie does have a reference to this scene, but it is more like being lightly slapped across the cheek with a wet fish.

Rating: 2 out of 10 retarded Uwe Boll love-children

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3 Responses to “Wanted - An Unwanted Disappointment”
  1. ChrissyK says:

    You forgot to include my hilarious comment.

    Lame movie: “So what have you done lately?”

    Me: “wasted an hour and a half of my life watching this terrible movie”

    Next movie is my choice: FYI It won’t be Hellboy or Dark Knight Returns.

  2. atomicker says:

    Let ‘em have it, Ed! Down with crappy movies!

  3. Edward Kaye says:

    It’s my own fault really, I should have done some more research and found out that these are the Geniuses that brought us the Fast and Furious line of movies

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