We caught Wanted on Sky Anytime this evening, and figured it was worth a look. My aunt loved it, my uncles seemed less-than-enthuised, and me? I’m not quite sure what to make of it. If I had to sum it up, I’d say that there are worse ways to spend an evening, but there are a whole host of better ones too. On the summer blockbusterfare, this is pretty distant from The Matrix or The Dark Knight or even Iron Man. It doesn’t have the kitsch value of Independence Day either (“… and today… is our… independence day!”). But it is significantly better than Transformers or Bad Boys II.
I like James McAvoy. I’ve known the kid would go far since I first spotted him in the miniseries Children of Dune. Of course, I also thought Alec Newman would go far, so what do I know? McAvoy has rewarded my faith in him. He was great in Atonement, and I hear great things about Starter for 10, even if they are from people who love Legally Blonde. Here his American accent is flawless (somewhere between Tom Cruise and Michael J. Fox), his abs are sculpted and his cynicism is somewhat refreshing. He carries the bulk of the film on his newly-muscled torso, and he does so well. Even when the film drags (it stops and starts), he still demands attention. He’s the best thing about the movie.
Everything else is so-so. The stunts are hit-and-miss. The CGI is too obvious where used and some of the “trick shots” too gimmicky. On the other hand, it seems to work sometimes despite itself – particularly the finale in the factory or the assassination attempt on the train. There is one too many montages though, and it does feel trite and cliche, but maybe that’s because training montages are a dime a dozen these days. The story is thin, even with the requesite three-quarter mark twist, but who watches these movies for the plot?
The supporting cast is nothing more than adequate. I never understood Angelina Jolie’s draw as an actress. She was solid in Girl, Interrupted, but that’s really it. Here she just looks moody. Though she does it well. On a shallow note, isn’t she scarily thin? Christian Bale thin? Other than Jolie, Morgan Freeman adds a shadow of a second dimension to Sloan, the mysterious patriarch of this firm of assassins. He manages to pull off a monologue at the film’s climax, which is a decent acheivement considering that it’s a dramatic moment amid an action scene – the two rarely work well together, and here at least they avoid being cringeworthy at any rate.
So, watch it if you must. Or there’s nothing better on. It’ll pass the time and occassionally impress. At the very least, it might introduce you to a young fellow worth watching. His name is James McAvoy.