Aloha film fans and freaks alike! Today I will be reviewing Wanted (2009), sinking my claws into it, and letting y’all know what BEAR thinks of this fairly recent action film. So if you care to indulge me in my musings on life and film (but mostly, film), lets continue…
From the get go, I knew I was going to like this film. I’m a sucker for well done action sequences, and the intro of this film has just that. ‘Wanted’ starts off with a mystery guy who is being sniped by a small group of people disguised in health-and-safety-gone-mad work clothing. I should clear this up and say that these are blatantly not builders or engineers, but if they were, they should be fired on the spot for not doing their job properly. Instead, these are a clan of professional assassins who have tracked down this guy and are in the process of tearing him a new poohole. The guy then takes a run up and smashes through the window, shooting all the assassins… dead. He lands on top of the building opposite to where he just was, smiles, then realises he’s stood on an ‘X’ on the floor. ‘Oh no’, he thinks; and then a bullet from an apartment miles away, bursts through the back of his head, making its way all the way through, like how one may decide to de-core an apple if one was hungry. That’s right: the queen, ‘one’, sometimes eats apples. (DISCLAIMER: I must state that BEAR cannot guarantee that the queen does/does not eat apples.) Here’s a picture to sum up the opening of Wanted:
(Zack Dela Rocha: “A bullet in yer fookin’ head!!!”
BEAR: Actually Zach, the bullet has passed through the head.
Zack Dela Rocha: Oh. Well that’s ruined it for me.)
Working in a boring office, living his boring dull life, thinking his boring dull thoughts–and just resigning himself to boredom in general – is Wesley, the protagonist, played by James McAvoy. (Protaganist is just another word for ‘main star of the film’. Yes, BEAR lives to serve.) So, this guy is riddled with problems such as constant anxiety attacks brought on by his red-haired blob of a boss, and his workmate saying “how’s yer father” to his girlfriend when he’s not around. What makes the latter more pathetic is that he knows it but is too much of a wet girl’s blouse to do anything about it. But all this mundanity is about to end in a very short while for Wesley. Up until this moment, he has compromised himself so much that he is living every moment of his life like a one-man-band zombie nation. All because of the dough, the money, the blinging wonga! I could digress into some social commentary on the state of the times with live in, but my name’s Noam Chomsky – my name is BEAR.
(Boss gives Wesley his ritual morning panic attack)
(The ATM doesn’t seem to like Wesley)
Wesley’s life changes forever when we see him enter his local shop, where all he wants is to pick up some tablets from the pharmacy in there. But then this woman named Fox, who looks a helluva lot like Angelina Jolie*, walks up beside him and introduces herself with her nonchalant allure. It quickly becomes apparent that the two of them are under attack by a man, whom Fox says killed his father (this is a lie! A slanderous, movie script LIE!! BEAR will explain later). But with Fox’s awesome use of a gun that can see around corners, plus Wesley’s beautiful freak outs, the two of them manage to escape unscathed. It’s a shame they cut out the stream of yellow trail that followed them out of the building though (BEAR just made a wee little joke).
(Fox seriously wants to protect Wesley)
Fox takes Wesley – whose mind must be orbiting the library of his consciousness in order to figure out what the F is going on about now – to a secret HQ which is home to a group of deadly assassins, all of whom kill for a living (hence why they are called ‘assassins’. It’s not like you’re going to find them working at McDonald’s and spitting on yer onion rings… unless they’re in disguise!). He leaves that place, with the understanding that he is one of them – a born assassin. He’s told that his anxiety attacks are in fact a secret power which he is yet to have mastered, and that with diligent training, he can gain the strength of a Hulk, the ability to slow-mo time like in that film The Matrix, and the reflexes of a ninja cat. Initially, Wesley thinks “F that shiz. I can’t deal with that malarkey, you dig it, brother?” But then he checks his bank balance, and what use to be next-to-nothing is now over 3.5 million dollars. You can buy a lot of sheds with that (ie that’s a shed loada money). From there he tells his boss at work to shove it, and joins the super-fly assassins, AKA The Fraternity. He even gets his own back on his workmate by smacking him in the face with an ergonomic keyboard as he leaves the office. Oh! and later, he gets his own back on his girlfriend (now presumed ‘ex’), by making out with that lady who looks an awful lot like Angelina Jolie, in front of her. If there was a moment to get anxious and use your slow-mo mojo, it would have been right then. The boi sure has insane powers, but that doesn’t stop him being an idiot sometimes.
(The qwerty keyboard has been used more violently).
Next time Fox brings Wesley back to the assassin HQ, it looks nothing like it did before, and now resembles a textile factory, full of workers and machinery and looms to make fabric. He seems a bit peeved, until Sloan, the top dog at this joint (played by someone who looks like Morgan Freeman**) shows him why all is what it seems there. He tells Wesley that if you look closely at the fabric, there is a unique stitching pattern to it all, which can be deciphered by using each variant of stitch pattern to figure out a binary code. And all those ones and zeros can then be translated into letters, which gives you some poor sod’s name. That name straight away declares then a dead man walking. This turns out to be some guy who is in a boardroom meeting presentation. The first time Wesley stands on the moving train and tries to assassinate him, he chickens out. But after being explained that there is a reason for this, and having been explained that one time they didn’t kill someone, that person killed a lot more people, it made sense for him to shoot da bugger. And so… he does. Initiation complete!
(Sloan: I admit it – I have strange reading habits)
For some reason they kept putting Wesley in a bath of dried wax. Actually no – it was a bath full of some chemical that was meant to stimulate rapid white cell growth. This was during the rigorous training regime he’s being put through by Sloan. It’s also so that he can become the hardcore assassin superfreak that he really is. The things Sloan has got him doing – like the sadistic Mr Miyagi he is – include: bending bullets around hanging pig carcasses, racing Fox to grab some flag thingy whilst running on top of a speeding train; fighting a butcher guy who leaves him with loads of gashes all over his body, and a quite peculiar task of trying to grab a fast moving bit of mechanism from inside a textile machine. Another day in the office for Wesley then? Eventually, he gets the gist of these painful tasks, and masters each of these situations. He can no longer be called a “pussy,” like all the assassins there previously liked to mockingly call him.
So, he’s killed one guy, now what? It’s up to the loom of fate, as I like to determine more assassinations. As we know already, the code spells out the guy’s name who killed his father… or so they make him believe. In the meantime, The Exterminator, Wesley’s only true friend at The Fraternity (you know – the guy who’s always wearing that blue beanie hat) as something for him to see. The Exterminator, in a shady looking alley, shows him his… (wait for it…) pet project rat. The rat has a bomb strapped to it. The guy’s well chuffed with this idea, as it can be successfully used to demolish a building, without your person needing to enter it. Wesley, like a Shia Labeouf plagiarist, steals this idea and uses it to his own advantage later on in the movie.
The train scene is where Wesley comes into battle with the guy who’s name was plucked outta the universally immoral loom machine (depending on your outlook on paid murderers, or just murderers in general). By now he is no longer a whimpering “pussy” but a behemoth of a sabre tooth tiger – I’m talking metaphorically here, you bloggin’ biatches (please leave comments!) The train comes off the rails on a suspension bridge, located between two cliffsides the train tunnels through; and Wesley, Fox, and the guy Wesley’s trying to assassinate are now dangling on the brink of a potentially undesired drop. Their bullets collide into each other like a gun trick joust Penn and Teller would have applauded (I dunno, maybe they did at the cinema. You knows?). The twist in this scene is that Wesley was about to slide out of the carriage to his free-falling death, but for some reason, the guy he’s trying to kill has grabbed his hand just in the nic[olas cage] of time. He tells him straight up that he is Wesley’s father, but not before Wesley, like a birdbrain, decides to pull the trigger on him anyways. BEAR is utterly confused: the guy just saved your life, and… you decide to shoot him?! Moron much? Anywho, Fox confirms that this is true – that Wesley was indeed brainwashed into killing his father because he would be the only person who his dad would never kill. Makes sense, dunnit? Then Fox shoots the window that the two of them are on and they fall into the river below.
(Alton Towers has seen better days)
Wesley survived the fall into the splash (I’m amazed – that was some height! It gave me vertigo just watching it from my cave), and has been brought back to his father’s flat by an agent working outside of The Fraternity. This agent is Pekwarsky. This guy is like a mad scientist, in that he has invented a bullet that is undetectable after doing the fatal deed, and can travel from very long distances. This seems logical to the viewer, because if you don’t have the memory span of a goldfish, you will recall the opening action sequence to the movie, where Wesley’s dad shoots the guy on top of a skyscraper, using a sniper rifle tied to a telescope to shoot the target (the enemy even had to stand on a ‘X’ on the fall). The way the bullet travelled through the air reminded me of THIS. I wonder if that idea was inspired by this music vid? Just some food for thought. It makes BEAR wonder if anything can be 100% original these days.
Now that Wesley knows what the F is going on – how he got F’d over by The Fraternity – he wants payback. He wants revenge.
My favourite scene has got to be when Wesley unloads a dumpster truck carrying an army of exploding rats, right outside the HQ. It was so good it plagued my mind with its awesomeness ever since watching it last night, up ’till this moment as I type out this junkyard of words. A close second is the scene where Fox kills almost the whole Fraternity by bending a bullet in a perfect circle; but I found the army of rats being unleashed to their peril more original. This scene happens in quick succession of each other. Also, the scene where Fox stands in front of the hung up pig, and had Wesley bend a bullet around her head is quite cool too. Actually, this movie does have some epic scenes, doesn’t it? I wonder how many hits of acid it took to make this story. Or perhaps it’s a true story? Either way – I likes it I’s do!
(DIE YOU VERMIN!!/Headshot! Headshot! Headshot…)
I couldn’t really be too critical with this film, because I was having too much fun enjoying the high-octane action. But there was one mistake I picked up on: the toilet cistern in Wesley’s flat is empty when he initially puts his handgun in there, but later in the film when it’s taken out, the cistern is full of water. Yes, I’m being extremely critical here, but you can’t fault a BEAR for tryin’.
My least favourite bit was that the main character, Wesley, was definitely, in BEAR’s honest opinion, outperformed by the actress who played Fox. She stole that movie for me, that Angelina Jolie looky likey. And I don’t like how Wesley didn’t have the foresight to transfer all that 3.6 million dollars into a savings account of some kind. That’s what happens when you put too much trust in The Fraternity, and then decide to take them on WITHOUT transferring your money safely – you get owned, financially, beyond the grave. Next time Wesley, let me look after it. Oh wait! There ain’t going to be a next time, is there?
Well, I think I’ve said all I wanna say about this film. I’ve most likely missed out something important, haven’t I? Perhaps I’ve left the oven on too long? Oh well – C’est la vie.
I award this film an 8/10!
(Fox: “Thank god this took only one take.”)
*I obviously knows this is really Angelina Jolie.
** Yes, this is also the real Morgan Freeman in the film. BEAR’s knot stewpad ore samting.