Thursday, June 26, 2008

WANTED: Mindless, Numbing Action All The Way

WANTED (action thriller)
Cast: James McAvoy, Angelina Jolie, Morgan Freeman and Terence Stamp
Director: Timur Bekmambetov

Time: 110 m

Rating: * * 1/2 (Out of 4)

McAvoy, Marc Warren and Jolie
WHAT'S THE BIG DEAL? Call this one 'Bend It Like Bekmambetov' because nobody 'bends reality' the way he does. And if you are thinking 'Bend It Like Beckham', yes, this movie is also about bending the flight of a bullet, way, way beyond the manner Becks bends his shots.

Who's Bekmambetov, you ask? Well he's the Russian-Kazakh director who rocked the world with the vampire fantasy
'Night Watch' (2004) and 'Day Watch' (2006) that featured all sorts of crazy stunts like driving a car up a highrise building and parking it right in an office! If you have seen those, you will know who I mean. With those two movies, he seems to have outdone the Wachowski Brothers ('Matrix') in out-of-this-world stunts.

Uh, I dare not say. The plot outline sounds like it is written by a drunk who's also high on mind
-bending pills, adapting from a comic book story. There's this loser of an office worker named Wesley (James McAvoy) who meets this cool 'hot chick' named Fox (Angelina Jolie) at the supermarket. She tells him that he is the son of an hotshot assassin from the thousand-year-old 'brotherhood' called the Fraternity - and that it is his destiny to become an assassin himself and avenge his old man's death.

Are you still with me? Fox then takes Wesley to her 'den' where he meets her boss 'Sloan' (Morgan Freeman) and other pro killers. Yeah, they teach Wesley how to bend the bullet and got him to shoot the wings off houseflies! Then, they tell him that it is okay to kill one and save a thousand, and he is let loose on Cross (Thomas Kreschmann), the renegade who is said to have killed his father.

Hits? Sure, there are lots of hits and they all have to do with mindless, over-the-top violence like chases, fights and shootouts. These action sequences are so visually stunning that they cheat the eye and numbs the brain. And each sequence seems to be trying to outdo the previous one - until we get to the awesome breath-withholding train wreck act that makes us wonder how the scenes were done. Oh, yes, there's the scene where Jolie emerges from a bath tub (it's censored but still provocative) like they way her computer-graphics figure did in 'Beuwolf' but here, she's only wearing tattoos. And yes, count her presence as another surefire hit.

Misses? There are plenty too but the chief one is that Bekmanbetov takes his viewers for fools, trying to sell us a plot as ridiculous as this. It's packed with crazy action but a no-brainer of a movie.

Local action fans are gonna love this one - especially after catching the trailer. Well, go get your brains numbed but don't say you haven't been warned!


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