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‘Wanted’ left me wanting more

December 25, 2008

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…so I borrowed a copy of the graphic novel and wished I would have started there to begin with. 

To be sure, the story’s premise of passive, office-worker-drone turned world’s deadliest assassin was entertaining.  It reminded me a lot of  Office Space minus the blood,  bad guys, and a smoldering Angelina Jolie- but I’ll get back to the sex factor later.  If you’re anything like me and spend hours behind a computer all day with people demanding that you do X,Y, and Z, the thought of  punching someone out every once in a while is appealing.  And no, I don’t have anger management issues.  However, I repeat, this is supposedly a story of the world’s deadliest assassin.  So James McAvoy of Atonement fame was the best choice for this role, right?  Riiiiigggght.   

This is part of the problem that I had with Wanted- the  implausible character development.  I didn’t believe for one minute in the chemistry between McAvoy’s and Jolie’s characters.  And for the life of me, I couldn’t remember the part in the film that alluded to them having any attraction at all.  ***Spoiler alert***  Am I really to believe that their connection was so intense that her character took her own life to spare his in the end? 

Lest you think I’m completely cynical and incapable of suspending reality for a few hours to take in a comic flick, visually speaking, Wanted is one of the better films this year.  The action sequences definitely live up to all of the critical acclaim received.  The scenes of bullets zipping through the air miles away from their targets, car chases, and slow-mo shots of superheroes jumping through glass buildings was quite entertaining.  However, the poor storyline became so muddled in the end that I really had no other choice than to read the graphic novel, right?

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“Say hello to the bad guy!”  I like to think of “Wanted”  as a handbook for sociopaths.  Wesley Gibson (McAvoy)  is inducted into the Fraternity where the motto is: “consequences are for the little people”.   Described by his peers as as having “effeminate affectations” a wimpy Gibson-who’s been picked on all his life-  is introduced to a world where all of the favorite comic book heroes have been killed by the villains and the bad guys rule the world.  In the Fraternity, Gibson is free to kill, maim, and rape (yeah, they go there) anyone he pleases without remorse or fear of reprisal.  Gibson’s personality operates on pure id.

Fanboys and girls need read no farther.  If you haven’t read Mark Millar’s original work  then get ye to a bookstore post haste!  This is the first comic book (err…graphic novel) that I have ever read and as is the case with many books made into movies, I found the written version to be much more intriguing.  In this case one should definitely skip the movie because the plot in the novel is almost completely different from the film.   I won’t elaborate on the glaring differences between the book and film but I can assure you that the pessimists out there will enjoy every minute of the read. 

Oh yeah, back to Angelina Jolie.  Remember that shot of  a naked and tatted-up Jolie sashaying through the bath house?  Why is it that sub par films almost always play up the sexy vixens in the theatrical trailers?  A ringing endorsement for a DVD rental, much?  Need I mention Jessica Biel in her underwear for I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry?

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