Movie: "Wanted"
Year: 2008
Rated: R
Genre: Action / Adventure
Directed by: Timur Bekmambetov
Writing credits: Michael Brandt, Derek Haas, Chris Morgan

Reviewer: Protoclown
Posted: 7/6/2008

Plot: Boring office worker Wesley Gibson is inducted into a secret league of assassins after finding out that his recently-deceased father was a member.

Review: This film adaptation bears almost no resemblance whatsoever to the comic it's based on, aside from protagonist Wesley Gibson, Fox, and the idea of a secret organization known as The Fraternity running things behind the scenes. The first fifteen or twenty minutes follow the book pretty closely, but that's where the similarities end. In the movie, the Fraternity is a group of assassins as opposed to super-villains, which unfortunately takes away the most interesting thing about the comic. Instead of seeing dark, twisted takes on villains we're already familiar with, we instead get a handful of mundane assassin characters who really aren't very memorable or interesting. And since our main character isn't particularly interesting either, this is a problem.

I would have had an easier time suspending my disbelief if they had presented a world where people possess a variety of superpowers, rather than all the assassins having the same super-adrenalyne power that somehow allows them to "bend" bullets simply by twisting their wrist when they fire the gun. It's unfortunate that so much of the action here is laughable because it's not presented in a context where it's believable. I can accept Superman lifting a bus over his head because that's what Superman does, but seeing characters here leaping from one skyscraper to another or shooting the wings off of flies simply because their heart can work at a rate of 400 beats per minute just seemed ridiculous to me.

Speaking of riduculous, when they introduced the concept of the Loom of Fate, I couldn't help but laugh out loud, which is something I alone found myself doing in response to a lot of the action sequences. And though he's one of my favorite actors, it's also hard for me to take Morgan Freeman seriously as a villain. I've just seen him in far too many fatherly, gentle mentor type of roles, so trying to twist things around and have him be a bad guy (a la Henry Fonda in Once Upon a Time in the West) is an intersting idea, which I will give them an A for Effort for, but in this case it just doesn't work. There's also an annoyingly cliched twist that was sort of present in the comic, albeit in much less obnoxious form. If you're like me, you'll no doubt find yourself rolling your eyes when they drop that "bomb" on you.

That's not to say the movie is all bad, however. As far as mindless action flicks go, you could do a lot worse. There's plenty of entertaining action sequences that you can sit back and enjoy for their visual flair and unintentional (?) humor value, but don't expect to give a damn about any of the characters. The comic it's based on isn't really any deeper or any more effective with it's "take control of your life" message, but I can at least say that with its far superior characters it's a much more entertaining way to spend your time than this.

Overall rating: WholeWholeHalf
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)

Reader Comments

Jul 7th, 2008, 04:00 AM
i liked how
Jason's a Furry! Run!
Jul 7th, 2008, 04:09 AM
Excellent review, fully agree. My main problem with this movie is that it broke the cardinal rule of 'check-your-brain-at-the-door,-shut-up-and-watch' action movies, and that's that it took itself waaaay too seriously (that and the one-liners kinda sucked). The Loom of Fate, the many 'somber' moments, etc. Just doesn't work. And the characters were quite irritating, to the point where I was hoping main man Wesley would take a bullet in the brain (and I too love Morgan Freeman, but this just isn't his film). I'd say more, but I'm not sure how to put that 'spoilers' thing in.

Overall, I give this movie an 'eh, nothing special' on a good day (and some rather unkind words on a bad one). For a ridiculous, over-the-top, no-thinking action movie, I'm just sticking with Shoot 'Em Up, thank you very much.
Turrican't. :(
Jul 7th, 2008, 04:57 AM
Saw the poster when I went to see Hancock (awesome movie). This looks good, but after watching Hancock in a theater where people bring their 3 year old kids (IT'S FUCKING PG-13) and TALKING ON THEIR CELL-PHONES FOR 8 MINUTES, I'm swearing off the whole "let's go see a movie" thing in favor of "It's DVD or the highway".
Jul 7th, 2008, 09:11 AM
I guess that Kitsunexus is right when he says that is impossible to enjoy a good movie when the theater is filled with a plethora of screaming kids and cell phone-obsessed gals.
Jason's a Furry! Run!
Jul 7th, 2008, 01:09 PM
So long as no one in the audience has a laser pointer or one of those goddamn noise machines, I'm fine (it's also good when no one falls asleep and snores very loudly).
Jul 7th, 2008, 02:06 PM
Wow what theaters do you guys go to. I get the occasional loud kid in an R rated movie. But laser pointers and sound machines never. Of course I either catch a weekday morning Matinee, which are generally dead. Or I hit my local Bar/Theater which doesn't let people under 21 in to any movie after 7 pm.
Mexican Rambo Doll
Jul 7th, 2008, 04:56 PM
The comic is one of my favorite comics ever. And they completely raped it with the shit movie. Why take away awesome villains like Shithead and Mr. Rictus?
Jul 7th, 2008, 06:18 PM
I could tell by the commercials that this movie wouldn't be fantastic.
Tropical Viking
Jul 7th, 2008, 06:32 PM
I haven't seen it yet, and I'm not really in the mood for it either. As I grew old, my tolerance for crap diminished vigorously, and I simply can't stand stuff I would once enjoy lightheartedly. Besides, this Tumor Bumblebeemolotov guy simply doesn't stand to the hipe. Someone could review his duology (???) and bring it out for the public beating in the comments section.
Crazed Techno-Biologist
Jul 8th, 2008, 01:09 AM
i think that if you had never read the comic or even knew of its existence, you might have liked the movie far better.
Jul 8th, 2008, 03:05 AM
i never read the comic, and i hated this movie to hell, so i doubt it
Ba dum dum dum dum
Jul 8th, 2008, 06:46 AM
Well, I saw it for free at a prerelease night with some friends. My first clue that it was going to be a stinker was when, after looking at the bullet in the beginning under an old Sherlock Holmes style magnifying glass for about two seconds, the random Indian woman declared it to be 'Untraceable'. Right. No chemical analysis, or anything. 3X magnification can tell me that.

But then, when the guy ran down the hallway and leapt through the office window FACE FIRST, I just almost fell out of my seat laughing. Why? Why in the world would you do that face first? Even if you had crazy, poorly defined super powers, there's no reason to jump through a window face first.

Anyways, the movie took itself way too seriously for how incredibly stupid it was, and characters seemed to just do things because that's what the plot called for them to do. Like when the main character accepts that the LOOM OF FATE knows who he should kill.

Another question I have, and I don't know if anyone else thought of this, but we're told that A.) There are people who's heartrates go over 400 BPM and thus they have super powers that don't make logical sense, and B.) An ancient sect of weavers somehow discovered that a loom that ran itself produced names in binary code and that those people should die for some reason. But we're never told what those two things have to do with one another.

I mean, even accepting the movies convoluted logic, how did these super high heart rate assassins end up tied together with the weavers? I understand the benefit the weavers would have of employing such people, but they never showed how they found out about them, or convinced them to work for them gratis.

Ah, another side note. Apparently his father was rich (you assume), but they kill people based on what a Loom tells them to do so... Does the Loom pay well?

And the Weavers finding out that they should kill the people the Loom mentions, didn't even bother explaining that when it would've taken about ten seconds. So we're left to assume that people find a device that magically produces names, and thus they decide to kill those people?

Gah... just thinking about all of that hurts my brain. I hated this movie. I'm glad I got a chance to see it for free to laugh at how absurd it was but otherwise it was awful.
Retardedly Handsome
Jul 8th, 2008, 10:15 AM
Morgan Freeman played the villian in the blockbuster movie Chain Reaction...I hope I didn't ruin it for anyone who hasn't seen it yet. Then again it's been out for at least ten years. Oh how I long for the days when Keanu Reeves was in everything.
Jul 8th, 2008, 10:29 AM
Morgan Freeman played the bad guy in a crappy Stephen King movie...can't remember which. Some crap about a friendly alien and a bad alien and young kids given abilities because the nuffy friend they looked after was the good alien...I dunno...Anyway Morgan Freeman was the determined and psychotic military dude trying to track down and kill...someone...really a forgetable movie. Morgan had really bad nose hair. That I remember...I'm so tired.
Jul 8th, 2008, 04:14 PM
that was dreamcatcher
Crazed Techno-Biologist
Jul 8th, 2008, 08:10 PM
Morgan freeman controls armies of penguins with his firm, highly narrative voice.
we better stay off his bad side.
Forum Virgin
Jul 9th, 2008, 10:28 AM
Morgan Freeman also played a villain in Lucky Number Slevin, which is one of my fav movies. I've seen him as quite a few bad guys and I think he can play them pretty convincingly.
Big Red Cat
Jul 9th, 2008, 06:11 PM
And let's not forget Shawshank Redemption, where he portrayed a guy who murdered his wife, his wife's friend, and her kid.
Jul 9th, 2008, 07:25 PM
Originally Posted by Uroboros View Post
Lucky Number Slevin, which is one of my fav movies
i couldn't get past the immensely retarded title, but i never really heard anything good about it either so i always felt justified in this
Jul 9th, 2008, 09:15 PM
Lucky Number Slevin was amazing.
Jul 9th, 2008, 10:31 PM
if you say so, i'm still not watching it
Jason's a Furry! Run!
Jul 10th, 2008, 02:45 AM
Been meaning to watch that one, actually. It keeps getting good reviews.

And Roggs, it never says who he supposedly murdered in Shawshank.