Tuesday, July 1, 2008


I haven't seen either of Bekmambetov's "Watch" action/fantasy/whatever films, but I guess they were somehow interesting enough to find success outside of Russia and get him a job in Hollywood. I can't really say I'm that impressed by his storytelling skills, but he sure knows how to make an over-the-top action scene. Wanted is (apparently very loosely) based on a comic published by Top Cow and written by Mark Millar, whose work I also haven't experienced but has done well enough for me to have heard of him. It (the movie) is about a loser whose life changes when he finds out he's inherited his father's abilities as an elite assassin and is brought into a secret guild that carries out hits around the globe. It's quite a while before he really gets into that though, as a lot of time is spent showing how much of a loser he is. A lot of the focus is at the office where he works, with some really unfunny scenes about how much he hates his fat boss and dirtbag friend. The narration by James McAvoy is really bad, especially in these early scenes, where you can see him and the writing straining very hard to be clever but failing at every turn. I was glad when he left that and got into killing people.

McAvoy and Angelina Jolie are featured in most of the action, and they have a pretty decent chemistry on camera. She's sexy as she always is, and he seems a little out of place starring in a movie like this but doesn't do a bad job overall. Morgan Freeman is the leader of the assassins, and does the typical wise old man thing he always does, and towards the end his character gets more interesting and funnier. Common makes another acting appearance, although the actual acting he does is minimal and I think he's just there because his face looks cool. There are many other mildly interesting characters, and the middle of the movie is a bunch of McAvoy getting his ass kicked and partaking in some entertaining missions before the big one, avenging his father's killer. It's around this point that they start throwing out plot twists like they're party favors, and it's not long before the final big violent sequence with lots of running, shooting, absurd curving of bullets, and exploding rats. The very end makes one final attempt at too-cool-for-school humor, and then there's the credits to a very mediocre movie. While it usually pretty dumb, the filming and visual effects in the action scenes make it easily watchable for fans of the genre. If you think you'd like it from the previews, you're probably right.

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