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Wanted (2008)

Wanted. Feature film. (2008, 110 mins) IMDB

...another mindless action flick from Hollywood...

I

f you like action movies that defy the known laws of gravity, medicine and just about everything sensible, then you just might like this movie.

A bullet bends when fired. It happens because gravity pulls it towards earth, but the bending is towards earth. In this movie, the bullets bend around people and corners and happens because that's what is called for in a movie. They aren't bullets--they are guided missiles.

Another trick to defy logic and reality--instant healing bath. Have a cut, bruise, broken bone? Soak in a special tub for a while and presto, you're healed, ready to fight another day.

Action films have always been filled with the improbable, but there was always a pinch of reality and believability to the action. In this film, like many recent action films, reality and believability go right out the window. They are no longer action movies, but computer games and many of the images we see in this film are entirely computer generated.

I don't play computer games, know virtually nothing about them, but it seems to me if you want to be involved in creating a Hollywood action movie these days your best bet is computer programming for computer games.

Oh yes, there is a traditional story line to this movie. Not that it matters.

The film starts out dreary with a dreary character: Welsey Gibson. He works in a cubicle for some corporation. He hates his job, his boss. He lives in a crappy apartment. His cheating girlfriend is a bitch to him. I suppose we're supposed to feel sympathy for him, but we don't. He's boring and annoying. He's a wimp.

Inciting incident. Anglina Jolie approaches him at a checkout counter in a drug store. It seems Gibson has a special gift for killing people, just like his late father. They want him to join the Fraternity--a secret cadre of assassins. Before he can respond, all hell breaks loose as someone starts shooting at them. The drugstore becomes a shooting gallery and the first big action set-piece is motion. It includes car chases and more bullets fired than a major war. At this point in the story, our hero is a wimpy bystander who says, "Sorry."

When the dusts settles, he's taken to meet the leader, Sloan, played by Morgan Freeman. The full offer is made, with lots of details about the situation, and well he can't accept. It's not time in the story for that. He hopes it was a dream, but it wasn't. His bank account balance shoots up over $3 million. Seems what Sloan was telling his wasn't a lie. With some confidence in his step, he blows up at work and accepts his new life.

Act II has started. Time to train to be an assassin. For the next thirty minutes he endures a bizarre training regiment. They beat the shit out of him, stab him with a knife and so on, but with a quick soak in a healing bath and he's as good as new. It ends with a typical montage showing how he has mastered all these techniques.

Now he's ready to go kill a few people. Yep, our wimp is now a cold blooded killer. What's that expression? Only in movies.

Anyway, he fires a gun from a movie subway train, watches as the bullet arcs around as if race car on oval racetrack and smacks the target right in the chest. Huh?

Or how about, flying a car over a bullet-proof limo because a shoot through an open sunroof will work. Okay.

With these kills out of the way, he's proven his worth, it's onto Cross and the main story line. Here's where the story takes a turn that is completely inane and unbelievable. Turns out Cross is his father. All those shots Cross took at Gibson were what, just good fun? And if Cross is on his side, then Sloan isn't. I kept hearing, "Luke, I'm your father."

So with the tables turned, it's Act III. He's going after Sloan and the fifty red shirts who stand in Gibson's way.

WANTED is another popcorn movie you will forget the moment the DVD is ejected from the player.

Posted 2009/03/17 at 01h28ET in Movie Commentary.

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