Wanted (2008) mini review

based on a comic book

Wesley Gibson (James McAvoy) is a loser. An insignificant nothing who can't figure out why his life sucks. He's treated like crap at his crappy job. His girlfriend is cheating on him with his best friend. Life can't get much worse.

But one day he finds out the father he never knew was an assassin. Fox (Angelina Jolie) finds him and tries to convert him; Sloan (Morgan Freeman - Batman Begins, The Dark Knight) is the head of The Fraternity and convinces him to join the organization. I'll leave the rest for you to find out when you see this movie, if you haven't already.

What can I even say about a summer of comic book movies that had such a strong start (Iron Man) and got better and better with every film, crescendoing with Wanted. Maybe that's not how they came out chronologically, but Wanted was my final stop on my summer comic book tour, and for my money, it was the best of the bunch.

This is only my second 10 out of 10 comic book movie. What can I say - I'm transfixed by films where the hero starts out as some schlub, and when he discovers the truth about life, it's turned upside down (The Matrix and Fight Club are in my top 5 films - go figure.) These kinds of films resonate with me somewhere deep inside. But when a movie is brilliantly made and it reaches inside me and grabs me by the soul - that's a film that rocks my world. And the beautiful choreography and amazing cinematography of this whole movie just makes you need to catch your breath.

Addendum: I wanted to add that not long after I saw the film in the theater, I read Mark Millar's comic that it was based on.  It was interesting that the film wasn't that faithful to the comic.  And, well, it wouldn't have been able to have near the success if it tried to be.  I mean, the comic is dark.  Darker probably than just about any comic I've ever read. In the comics, The Fraternity isn't a fraternity of assassins who go about trying to kill the people who deserve it.  It's a fraternity of costumed super-villains who have done away with all the superheroes and now go about doing whatever they want. Imagine a secret gang of hundreds of Jokers let loose on the world without the Batman to keep them in check, and you can get an inkling of what I'm talking about.  To be truer to the source material would have been cost-prohibitive (all those costumes, all those super powers, all those special effects), and it would've been lucky to garner an NC-17 rating.  I think I'm glad they didn't get any close than they did - it all ended up like an adolescent angry boy's fantasy - what would I do if I could do anything I want to anyone I wanted to.  *Shudder* While I recommend the movie to anyone who can get by the violence, I personally don't recommend the comic; but that's just me.

See it if you like intense action movies or movies about truth being turned on its head.

Don't see it if you tend to avoid the blood and violence.

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