Wednesday, July 9, 2008

movie review: wanted

Hot on the heels of my lukewarm response to The Garden of Last Days, I saw Wanted. I adore Angelina Jolie, and I appreciate the interviews of her leading up to Wanted. After her mother's death, she knew she needed to work, but she didn't want to do a serious movie. She wanted to have fun and kick some ass. I'm a firm believer in balancing the serious in life with the fun. Fun movies may not be brilliant, but they're certainly useful and entertaining.

Wanted immediately grabbed me. It started like a reimagining of Office Space. I love cubicle drones gone crazy. James McAvoy was stellar. It was my first time seeing him act, and I cannot wait for more. About an hour into the movie, I leaned over to nomadreaderboy and asked for a home theater system. It seemed to be the kind of escapist movie fare I could watch over and over again, but it needs a big screen.

Unfortunately, suddenly Wanted tried to be deeper than it needs to be. It begins to take itself too seriously. The ideas and themes it tries to deal with are fascinating and complicated, which is why it seems silly to quickly introduce them and deal with them in a matter of scenes.

In the end, I love most of the movie. The story execution wasn't there, and I have an aversion to rats, which feature far too prominently in too many scenes for my taste. Wanted is a movie worth seeing once. I don't know if I'll see it again, and if I do, I'll know when to stop it before it starts taking itself to seriously and too literally. It could have been a great movie, if the filmmakers made up their minds about what kind of movie they wanted to make. Instead it's a hodgepodge of ideas with brilliant actors and amazing special effects.

Rating: 2 stars (liked it)

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