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Wanted

26 June, 2008

I’ve just got back from seeing the film (or movie, if you prefer) Wanted and thought I’d post my initial thoughts. Be warned though: this isn’t a film that really encourages intellectual debate so you’re not really going to get any.

First thoughts: well, it was gorier than I expected, but then I hadn’t realised going in that it was an 18 certificate. I’m not sure what that equates to in American film ratings, but suffice to say there was more blood that I had thought there was going to be, including some fairly graphic shots of people getting shot. As in, seeing the bullet come out of their forehead in slow motion and close-up, before being rewound to show the bullet being fired, including going back through the victim’s head. All CGIed clearly, but still pretty gorey.

Second: the main focus of the film was on action scenes, which is pretty evident if you’ve seen the trailer. Forget extensive character development (although I’ll admit you can see a change in Wesley, the main character, as the film progresses) or highly developed back-story. There is a back-story, concerning weavers who for some mysterious reason decided to become assassins, but you could pretty much strip that right out of the film and have little effect on the story. Apparently it’s an adaptation from a comic book, so I imagine there’s more plot detail in the original format. As a film though, there’s a definite sacrifice of plot for the sake of action scenes.

Third: having said that, many of those action scenes are pretty damn cool. Think cars flipping over other cars so that the driver of the one on top can shoot someone through the sun-roof of the one below. Think running around on the tops of trains and big guns and the physics-defying feat of curving bullets in the air. Additionally, the whole film is slick, well shot for an action film and has some really nice little touches, like the words spelled out by flying letters as a computer keyboard is smashed over someone’s head.

Overall, this is a film to see if you want a mindless couple of hours of fight scenes, chase scenes and general over-the-top, heavily CGIed action. It’s entertaining, but don’t expect any big message or life-affirming moment at the end. At least there was no obvious set-up for a sequel, which is always a good thing. This film doesn’t really need one. It’s silly, violent and entertaining, but it’s really not clever.

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