Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Wanted -Review by Carmody Wilson

Director: Timur Bekmambetov
Writer: Derek Haas, Michael Brandt and Chris Morgan
Time: 110 minutes
Release: June 27
Deep inside the mystical forests of time, (say around 1000 CE), a group of disgruntled weavers gathered together to form a fraternity of assassins. Who their targets were-perhaps evil shepherds who gave them inferior, dirty wool, or perhaps dishonest wholesalers “Did I say one hundred sheckels? I meant forty”-no one knows, but these unlucky few were chosen for termination by the mysterious workings of The Loom of Destiny. Now, in modern-day Chicago, the work continues, and the fraternity is seeking out its latest brother, the modern malcontent Wesley Gibson.

James McAvoy, as Wesley, gives the character the right amount of pissy spinelessness as he descries his dead-end job, cheating girlfriend and repressed potboiling rage at the futility of his life-everything sucks and Wesley is obviously more of a weasel than a weaver. But destiny looms large, and soon the threads of the story come together as Wesley is introduced to Fox ( Angelina Jolie looking to drop dead of malnourishment at any moment, let alone die by bullets and car accidents,) and Sloan (Morgan Freeman, wearing only a jockstrap!-kidding). Hooked into the warp and weft of the fraternity by the fact that a rogue member has killed his dad, Wesley attempts a transformation. Other members of the team-dedicated to killing, hey it pays the rent!-are Mark Warren, pretty as ever, and Common, pitch in to help with Wesley’s valmorification. Yes, the story is rubbish and a typically unbelievable action scenario involves fraternity members’ ability to “curve bullets.” Considering that most people can’t shoot straight to begin with, we could all just be members waiting to be recruited! But the film works in spite of this, not because of it. The secret weapon? Freeman’s laconic, drawling Master Weaver? Jolie’s sexy, pouting Killer Weaver? Gary Wright’s “Dreamweaver?” No, it’s director Timur Bekmambetov, better known to Russian audiences than Western ones. Bekmambetov, gave the world the Russian vampire-vortex flicks Nightwatch and Daywatch, and works the same palpitating, swirling unreality here on Wanted. The Director takes a comic-book world (based on the work by Mark Millar and J.G. Jones) and makes it into…a comic book world. The whole premise is silly and Bekmambetov realizes this, working with this knowledge and not against it.. If this were a Bruckheimer film Wesley would be played by Paul Walker and there would be more explosions, ass kicking and boring violence montages than you could shake an overdosed Don Simpson at. If a conventional director helmed this flick there would be little of the absurd, flashy and self-aware quirkiness that makes puny James McAvoy into a ball-busting beefcake. Mr Tumnus kicks ass! If this were a typical action film there’d be nothing worth writing about. But it’s the Russian Master’s boiling, bending bru-ha-ha that makes Wanted a yarn well told. No spun intended.

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