Home Literature Stories Movies Games Comics News Discussion Forum
  Science Fiction and Fantasy News
Esslemont's Stonewielder Prologue and Cover (07-26)
Deals and Deliveries (9!!!) (09-12)
Indiana Jones and the Army of the Dead by Steve Pe (09-12)
Iron Man: Femmes Fatales by Robert Greenberger (09-12)

Official sffworld Reviews
Big Time, The by Fritz Leiber (05-29 - Book)
Rogue Clone by Steven L. Kent (05-25 - Book)
The Blue Blazes by Chuck Wendig (05-21 - Book)
The Wisdom of the Shire by Noble Smith (05-17 - Book)

Site Index

Official sffworld Movie Review    Bookmark and Share


Starting life as a somewhat controversial six issue comic book mini-series by Scottish writer Mark Millar and artist J.G. Jones, Wanted has been utterly transformed for the big screen. Although the initial set-up remains relatively similar to the comic; a worthless young man, Wesley Gibson, working the 9-5 grind finds out he’s the son of the world’s greatest assassin, everything else is reworked for the current trend of making comic book based movies as ‘realistic’ as possible. This change of tone and indeed narrative works exceptionally well in this instance, striking a similar balance between the theatrical and real that has served Nolan’s Batman so well.

Out go the intentionally garish costumes and characters of the comic book. Out goes the paradigm shifting back-story and alternate world-hopping, to be replaced by a world at one remove from our own. Albeit a world where people can still bend bullets.

Given the size and money involved, Timur Bekmambetov handles such a big movie skilfully, controlling small details and big set pieces with equal aplomb. He cleverly separates the world before and after Wesley Gibson’s revelation, striking an enjoyable contrast between the two before forcing them to collide in an opinion-splitting ending. Though it never quite hits the heights, Bekmambetov hands in a solid movie with moments of intelligence and great spectacle; a breathtaking opening quickly surpassed by a spectacularly crazy car chase and two unbelievable end set-pieces.

Equally, all the cast members are on top form; James McAvoy’s Wesley Gibson is suitably pathetic before an impressive and believable, if somewhat truncated, transformation from sap to driven killer. Morgan Freeman nicely underplays Fraternity boss Sloan but it is Angelina Jolie’s surprisingly nuanced performance as the aptly named Fox that takes the plaudits. Between the sexually attractive and physically dynamic, Jolie adds a third element of thoughtfulness to each of her scenes, the ending being particularly noteworthy of reflection in light of one specific conversation.

Wanted isn’t without its flaws. At times the film seems to try too hard, the mysterious method of how the hits are decided by the Fraternity is bluntly, a bit daft. Hearing two top actors like Morgan Freeman and Angelina Jolie then trying to validate the method with some awful lines is a little cringe-worthy. Indeed, it is when the pace of the story slows that the movie seems to go off the rails slightly, giving both characters and viewers time to dwell on the ludicrousness of the situation.

Also the inability of the movie to completely overcome an, admittedly, difficult original ending is problematic. The deception at the end is fairly obvious and the lack of characterisation for the most important person of that deception, makes it the weakest section of the script. Not that anyone is going to mind too much with an apocalyptic slow motion fight preceding it. The conclusion mirrors the opening, leaving just over an hour and a half enjoyably spent and with the, perhaps vain, hope that production companies will look outside of DC and Marvel, and superheroes, for more future comic based movies.

Overall this is a fun movie. Strong acting masks a thin plot that tries, and for the most part succeeds, to give you plenty of bang for your buck. The set pieces are big and bold and the film holds its swagger well, exuding a sense of cool violence to the very end. Definitely worth a look.

Owen Jones © 2008

Sponsor ads



The Terry Pratchett Anywhere But Here, Anywhen But Now First Novel Prize!
05-31 - News
Stephen King's Joyland UK Promotion
05-30 - News
UK Publisher of Stephen King’s New Novel Unusual Promotion
05-30 - News
Big Time, The by Fritz Leiber
05-29 - Book Review
Rogue Clone by Steven L. Kent
05-25 - Book Review
The Blue Blazes by Chuck Wendig
05-21 - Book Review
The Wisdom of the Shire by Noble Smith
05-17 - Book Review

05-10 - News
The Tyrant's Law by Daniel Abraham
05-04 - Book Review
Galaxy's Edge 1 by Mike Resnick
04-28 - Book Review
Poison by Sarah Pinborough
04-21 - Book Review
Bullington, Beukes and Bacigalupi event
04-19 - News
The City by Stella Gemmell
04-17 - Book Review
Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan
04-15 - Book Review
Tarnished Knight by Jack Campbell
04-09 - Book Review
Frank Hampson: Tomorrow Revisited by Alastair Crompton
04-07 - Book Review
The Forever Knight by John Marco
04-01 - Book Review
Book of Sith - Secrets from the Dark Side by Daniel Wallace
03-31 - Book Review
NOS4R2 by Joe Hill
03-25 - Book Review
Fade to Black by Francis Knight
03-13 - Book Review
The Clone Republic by Steven L. Kent
03-12 - Book Review
The Burn Zone by James K. Decker
03-06 - Book Review
A Conspiracy of Alchemists by Liesel Schwarz
03-04 - Book Review
Blood's Pride by Evie Manieri
02-28 - Book Review
Excerpt: River of Stars by Guy Gavriel Kay
02-27 - Article
Tales of Majipoor by Robert Silverberg
02-24 - Book Review
American Elsewhere by Robert Jackson Bennett
02-20 - Book Review
Evie Manieri Guest Post
02-19 - Article
The Grim Company by Luke Scull
02-17 - Book Review
Red Planet by Robert A. Heinlein
02-11 - Book Review

New Forum Posts

About - Advertising - Contact us - RSS - For Authors & Publishers - Contribute / Submit - Privacy Policy - Community Login
Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use. The contents of this webpage are copyright © 1997-2011 sffworld.com. All Rights Reserved.