Review: Wanted

Finally got to see ‘Wanted’ after so many failed attempts at it due to ‘full-house’ sessions at the cineplexes. So was it worth my time at the queues? Well, if you like full-blooded-alpha-male-testosterone-charged brutality disguised in a ballet of flying bullets coupled with stunts that defy all laws of science (which would put Einstein to shame), then yes, this is your cup of tea. But if you are expecting ’27 Dresses’, then stay well clear as ‘Wanted’ is nothing more than a big bad storm in a badly-chipped tea cup.

This film delivers super slick special effects and couple this with a skimpy-clad Angelina Jolie (plus a censored scene of rear-bearing action, download this NOW) while kicking asses as though someone killed her mother all over the silver screen will rock anyone’s balls to the core. Heck, it got mine gyrating at all of her scenes (don’t you just love cinemas with their big screens?) That said, you would now know which demographic this film totally aims for.

Kazakhstan-born director Timur Bekmambetov understands how bring silliness to the extreme and yet make it all look oh-so-cool, and that in turn is what makes this film distinctive from the rest. Stylized hard-core action now has a new face, and quoting ‘Borat’ the most famous Kazakhstan person I know, “I like”. Yes in deed.

This film contains no plot complexities ala “The Matrix” or has such opera such as “Blade Runner” as this film’s story is as simple as any film can get. It is at times tedious and often generic, with stereotypical characters filling up the plot holes just to keep the movie moving to the next action sequence. I’m not going into the details of the plot as usual, but for optimum enjoyment of this film, just go into the cinema with your brain left totally locked in your home and simply sit back and enjoy the visual eye candy (and for velvet flashes of Jolie’s flesh. For the female audiences, Scottish hunk James McAvoy does bare his chest intentionally throughout the film. So, flesh fetish happiness for everyone. Yay!!!).

Speaking of James McAvoy, this is in fact his first foray at being an action hero and I must say he does a pretty good job at it (being a hero with some resemblance to brains). His best work were all dramatic roles which resulted in some pretty good appreciation from film critics such as the wrongly-accused lover in “Atonement” and the naive doctor in “The Last King of Scotland”. Obviously his role in “Wanted” do not provide him the palette to flex his acting abilities, he however gives his character a genuine sense of realism that provides the audience something to relate with. And that makes him reasonably likable, which is important as he will take you on a journey from one end of the character’s spectrum to another. Just watch and you will have what I’m talking about.

Angelina Jolie impresses as usual (hey, it’s Jolie. How can you possibly go wrong with her?) and you can see she is obviously having fun with her role as the uber-assassin Fox. At times she may be just that typical sexy cardboard box character that is plastered on screen just for kicks, but she ignites things up with perfectly timed smirks and winks that will make you smirk in turn. And THAT for me is a mark of a true action heroine.

As for Morgan Freeman, I’m honestly bored to death of him playing the usual ‘boss/mentor’ character with all that deep-toned speeches and smarty lines. Even though at one point in the film he NEARLY stole the entire show (NEARLY) with a very rare but impressive quip of a bad word, Freeman however a waste of a fine actor in my book and should get a better movie agent pronto, otherwise he will forever be stagnant in a quagmire of stereotypical characters for life. And that will be very sad for a fine actor like him.

All in all, this film was made not to impress the critical masses, but to simply provide a collage of visual/audio/action/flesh combo to kick any action-loving viewer’s balls to bits. Eccentric, outlandish and defying all laws whatsoever, this film comes closes to ‘action porn’ than any movie I have ever seen (note: porn as in NOT the typical Pamela Anderson porn, but action played to the extreme just like porn).

Almost worth a second-viewing in my opinion, if not for the fast action I missed but maybe just to see Angelina Jolie fellate a gun barrel for almost 2 hours. Now THAT is almost worth the price of the second admission….

Verdict: 7/10

Reviewed by: Raymond Choy

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