In accordance with yesterday's post on my comic book pick of the month, today I wanted to post on the film adaptation of Wanted. Wanted stars James Macavoy as Wesley Gibson, the same loser we knew and loved from the book. His girlfriend is a nagging bitch, his best friend is sleeping with her, and he has to take anxiety pills to keep from having a breakdown at his loser office drone job. Wesley hates his life, until he meets Fox, played by Angelina Jolie.
Fox tells him his dad was a super powered assassin with killer reflexes, speed, and incredible abilities with guns, like being able to shoot any target or bend bullets around space. They both worked for an organization of assassins called The Fraternity, who have been deciphering an ancient form of communication to determine what targets fate wants them to kill. Except one of their members have gone rogue, an agent named Cross, and only Wesley has the skills to take him down.
In correspondence with the book, they spend the first third of the movie on Wesley's transformation from schlub loser to desensitized killer. Honing his abilities and learning about his father's past and the past of the Fraternity. After this point the film really breaks away from the book, though not in a bad way. Wesley begins learning his craft and attacking targets, until he finally gets his chance at cross, except that there is more to the mystery than seemed before, and ultimately it leads Wesley to a showdown between himself and the Fraternity, and the people who trained him. Including Fox, who Wesley has feelings for.
For being such a fan of the comic, it was hard for me to truly keep an open mind. They really downplayed the super hero and costume angle that the book had, focusing on a more grounded approach to these individuals unique powers. Macavoy is great as loser turned hard ass Wesley, and no one plays tough kick ass girls like Jolie, who really amps up her sex appeal and tough as nails approach. Morgan Freeman plays the head of the Fraternity and really brings a level of respect and credibility to the fantastic stunts and over the top environment.
While the middle and end of the book don't match the movie (except the fact that Wesley goes against the Fraternity, Wanted stands as its own film through the most of it. As the product of a pure piece of action and adrenalin, Wanted delivers. The effects and things they do in the gun play are inventive, akin to watching the first Matrix film. The movie moves at a breakneck pace, keeping the dark humor and action at a constant. If you like action movie and just want to be entertained for 2 hours, Wanted hits the mark.
I liked Wanted, though not as much as the book, I still recommend you check it out.
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