The ripples of our decisions

First, some pearls of wisdom from the gentleman sitting behind us at yesterday afternoon's screening of 'Wanted':

  • (On Jason Statham in 'Death Race' trailer): "Awww, that's my MAN! When's that shit coming out? August? Write that down. WRITE IT DOWN!"
  • (On the violins playing over the Universal logo at the start of the film): "This is some James Bond shit, son! Double-oh-seven!"
  • (On seeing Terence Stamp): "That was Zod in Superman 1 and 2!"
  • (On struggling to recognize Common): "This guy's a rapper, who is it? (To partner) Do you know? Awww hell, she don't know!"
He was there with young kids. At one point, when McAvoy and Jolie kiss onscreen, he said "Cover your eyes" to them, and I thought that was kind of sweet, although this was after several people's faces had been blown clean off with massive guns, and there'd been a pretty hot and heavy sex-on-a-counter scene. Plenty of swearing, too. There was something adorably puritanical about this guy bringing his kids to a hard-R rated film and then getting protective at one of the milder scenes.

Anyway, on to 'Wanted', a film that's ostensibly about some weavers that kill people. My fundamental, inescapable problem with the film was that it had a completely flawed moral compass and just came off as incredibly misanthropic and unpleasant. There's some nonsense about a giant thread that tells the assassins who to kill (The Secret of the Loom?) and the entirely superficial justification is "Kill one, save a thousand". And yet, there are several scenes where two rival hit-people are going at it in hugely elaborate setpiece scenes causing just about every innocent bystander to die / get in car wrecks / fall off bridges. There's one scene toward the end where a large number of people eat it and it's terribly sad and it's written off as nothing. So that's a bad thing. Then there's the fact that the film was presumably written by 14 year old boys, certainly for 14 year old boys. Blah blah blah revenge fantasy, lots of swearing, loser finds meaning and gets angry and gets beaten up a lot. And don't get me started about the bullet-curving stuff. Whoop de doo. (For more, read Peter Bradshaw's review)

So it is a mean-spirited, nasty piece of work. But the thing is, with the guy from Night Watch and Day Watch in charge, it looks amazing. There's some genuine flair, creativity and talent on show in the visual department. Is that enough to make up for the complete lack of redemption or proportion? Not really. Nicest thing about it: Best use of CGI rats and peanut butter as a weapon... EVER! Seriously, though: stay the fuck away from this film.


Nick said...

It's essentially the exact same movie as 300. Equally retarded. Equally "awesome."

Jim said...

The Wanted comic was full of smart arsed, unlikable, unredeemable murderous bastards, the assassins were just plain bad guys, so the film seems to have made a bit of an attempt to soften them somewhat.

Matthew said...

The word "film" is thrown around a lot these days...

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