Friday, 30 December 2016

Wanted (2008)

"This is me. Taking back control."

Grr. Don't talk to me about "taking back control". I'll be glad to see the back of 2016.

I watched this film at the suggestion of Mrs Llamastrangler as she hates it and wanted me to administer a good spanking in my blog. The things we do for love, eh? This is the most awful film I've seen since The Black Knight, and that's saying something.

Actually I suspect that the original comic book (which I haven't read) is likely to have been quite good; there's nothing wrong with the intrinsic concept of a beaten down, cuckolded office drone finding out that he's connected to a rather cool secret society of assassins and at last gets to be cool. The twist is pretty effective, too, and, in fact, I don't think the script is the problem at all here.

No; it's the awful direction from the enfant terrible of Central Asia, a man who comes with a certain reputation and from whom I expected better. There's nothing intrinsically wrong with an ever-moving camera or even with the things that happen with bullets in this film, but here it's just style over substance. The curved trajectories of the bullets (er, yes) and the  over-use of the same CGI tricks give an impression of style over substance, of a strongly emphasised visual style which doesn't actually mean anything and gets in the way of both the characters and the story. The visual style isn't just annoying; it's actually a barrier.

Also, it's noticeable that Angelina Jolie's character, Fox, is there only to look cool and spout exposition rather than have a character as such or, indeed, a first name, which is a shame. Still, at least we get Nine Inch Nails on the soundtrack and the performances are good. It's just st that the direction has to spoil everything and turn a film that could have been something into... this.

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