Sunday, August 17, 2008

Review: Wanted movie

Went to watch the Wanted movie today. I knew going in it was going to be significantly different from the Wanted six-issue mini-series by Mark Millar and J.G Jones (which I had reviewed two blog entries about continuity, wahey!) so I expected to see less big screen supervillain action and more "realistic" movie action.

Before you read on, here's the obligatory spoiler warning.

If you don't want to find out what happened in the movie, stop reading HERE as there may be some plot points revealed!

The movie starts off almost exactly the same way the comic does. Wesley Gibson (played brilliantly by James McAvoy) is delivering a soliloquy about how shit his life is. His best friend Bobby (who also happens to be his colleague and shares the same cubicle at his workplace) is constantly having sex with Wesley's girlfriend behind Wesley's back. Wesley keeps taking shit from his bully boss...a little more politically correct in the movie being portrayed as a rather obese white female who is, get this, ANOREXIC! Haha!

Wesley then meets Fox (played by Angelina Jolie), who apparently saves him from an assassin, Cross, who had gone rogue from The Fraternity, a league of assassins that had been in existence for over 1000 years. Wesley is asked to shoot off the wings off flies, mirroring the comic book, and then he freaks out, going back to his old life.

But he finds, having had a taste of the adrenaline rush and power that came with wielding a gun in his hand, he could not just walk back into his own life. But instead of yelling a huge "FUCK YOU!" in the comics, he actually pays out his boss in front of all his other colleagues before storming out of the office. Wesley also takes his keyboard with him and to be honest, I was perplexed. Why take the keyboard with him? Was it his? If it wasn't, why not take something else?

As Wesley approaches the exit, Bobby blocks his path and tells Wesley that he did what no one else had the balls to do...tell off the boss that they all hated. Bobby starts telling Wesley that he's "the man", only to get smashed in the face with the aforementioned keyboard...cue one of the funniest and most awesome scenes in the movie.

We see Bobby's face turn towards the camera in slow motion, with blood flying from the mouth. But that's not the only things that are flying. Some characters fly off the keyboard and they careen beautifully in the air in this order, from left to right: F, U, C, K, Y, O. But there aren't TWO "u"s on a keyboard! So we also see a tooth fly out of Bobby's mouth, complete with the roots and with that tooth looks it...yes it is! A "u". Hilarious!

Some of the dialogue in the movie I recognised immediately since it was verbatim from the comic book. I laughed when Wesley tells us that Bobby is "shtupping" his unfaithful girlfriend on "an Ikea table I picked up for a really good price". As Wesley complains about his pathetic life and the fact that his father abandoned him when he was seven, he suggests that his father perhaps realised "that he'd just fathered one of the most insignificant assholes of the 21st century". In fact, when that line was being delivered, I actually mouthed it out in the cinema, word for word, since it's one of those lines that I just remember from the comic!

There are some major differences in the plot points between the comic and the movie. In the comics, The Fraternity is the league of supervillains that have taken over the world. In the movie, it's a league of assassins that had been in existence for 1000 years. As there are no supervillains in the movie, we don't see Mr Rictus, Solomon Seltzer or any of the other villains that we've read about and loved. In fact, the only two main characters that have made the transition from the comics to the movie are Wesley and Fox.

The Fraternity in the movie is headed by Sloan (played by Morgan Freeman...who swears twice during the movie! Absolutely awesome! Can you just imagine the regal driver from "Driving Miss Daisy" saying "motherfucker"? No? Then you've got to see this to believe it!) and gets his team of assassins to train Wesley to become the cold-blooded killer they know he will eventually become. Because of the lack of supervillains in the movie, they've got able-bodied replacements assassins to conduct Wesley's training.

We find out that Wesley's Dad in the comics is The Killer, who faked his own death so that Wesley can step into his shoes and stop being the pussy that he is in life. In the movie, we find out that the assassin who gets killed at the start of the movie isn't The Killer, who I'm sure most people think is, but is instead just another assassin, Mr X. In fact, Cross, the guy who's out to kill all the rest of the assassins in The Fratenity, is actually Wesley's father!

Cross found out that Sloan had actually been manipulating The Fraternity into doing his dirty work to for power and political reasons and wants to kill Sloan and anyone loyal to him. Slowly but surely, Cross is whittling down The Fraternity's numbers so Sloan concocts this story to dupe Wesley into pursuing Cross, knowing that Wesley, Cross' son, is the only person Cross will not kill.

Of course, Wesley finds out that he has been betrayed and wants vengeance against Sloan and the rest of The Fraternity. I'll leave it at'll need to catch the rest of the movie to find out what happened!

One of the most controversial things from the Wanted series was the ending which some readers thought was Mark Millar taking a pot-shot at them and saying they had no lives or mind of their own. What that ending did was challenge the reader to get out there and do something with their life.

While the movie doesn't have an ending that was as strongly worded as "this is my face while I'm fucking you in the ass", like the comics, there's a message at the end that's directed straight to the movie goer. Wesley starts delivering a soliloquy again, saying how his life has changed and he's made the most of it, and asks the viewer:

"What have you done in your life lately?"

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