Monday, February 16, 2009


Imagine a movie that's one part Karate Kid, one part The Matrix, and you have Wanted.

Wanted starts out with a black screen and small text giving us the back story. "1,000 years ago, a group of weavers formed a society of assassins..."

Hold the phone.

I kid you not. The fate of the world as we know it rests in the hands of sweater makers. How's that for gripping backstory? Weavers. Leather tanners I might believe, but weavers? Tee, hee. I still can't get over it. But wait, there's see, a loom weaves out encrypted messages telling the weaver assassins who they must kill next. Go ahead, re-read that previous sentence. Take it all in. Death by textile. You might never look at your cotton t-shirts in the same way.

So it goes without saying that you need a fair suspension of disbelief to enjoy Wanted. And it's not an unenjoyable action film. It's a fairly non-stop assault of high testosterone action and violence, but there's nothing that will feel too new.

James McAvoy stars as the Karate Kid -- er -- Wesley Gibson, a miserable office drone who learns his father was the world's top assassin. He's drawn into the assassin's training ground in order to train to take down his father's killer.

His training involves a lot of bloody fighting montage scenes and a lot of slow-motion bullets whizzing Matrix-style around impossible angles. It also involves a lot of the surly assassin Fox, played by Angelina Jolie. I'd be pretty surly too if I hadn't eaten anything resembling food in the last six months. Seriously, did they have craft services on that set? Couldn't somebody at least maybe have spooned some broth into her mouth? She's still a knockout but girlfriend was looking pretty bony and haggard in this film.

If you're looking for pure action, you'll enjoy the movie, even if much of it so unrealistic and improbable, you'll find yourself giggling through it. James McAvoy was an interesting casting choice because he's completely against archetype for action hero. I think the boy can actually act, but he just didn't get much a chance to do it here. But hey, he does save humanity from a killer scarf maker, so no complaints.

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