I'm not going to spend much time on this review, because, frankly, the movie doesn't deserve it.
I've long said that special effects alone do not a good (or even entertaining) movie make. There needs to be a solid, relatively believable plot and realistic, interesting characters who we as an audience give a shit about. Mindless blather about a league of assassins who get their marching orders from a "loom of fate" (yes, I said loom, like what weavers use to make clothes) that spits out assassination targets' names in binary does not even come close.
I can honestly say this movie bored me. Not quite to tears, but close. The special effects and action sequences, while certainly well-done, reeked of CGI fakery, and were nothing new, to boot. The advent of computer generated effects has been both a boon and a bane to the film industry in recent years. Producers and directors seem to think if they just slap some shiny CGI sequences into their films, they don't need to worry about little things like plot and story. Silly me for wanting something more for my $10.
Wanted is about a nobody office drone who discovers he's the son of the world's greatest assassin, who was recently murdered by a rogue assassin from a group called The Fraternity. A group, mind you, that was started 1,000 years ago by a bunch of fucking cloth weavers who, for some reason we're never told, took it upon themselves to rid the world of certain people, to "balance the scales," whatever the fuck that means.
The movie has lots of gun fu and car fu, though no actual kung fu. CGI bullets collide in mid-flight, CGI trains tumble off CGI bridges, CGI cars flip through the air and land without missing a beat, let alone popping a tire. It's violence porn taken to the nth degree, a ADD-addled adolescent male's ultimate power trip. Women, the few that make the cut in this fanyboyish wet dream, exist solely to be sexual objects or to be mocked.
I didn't care about a single character and the surprise double-crosses were anything but. It's a shame that such high-caliber actors wasted their talents in such an empty, soulless film. Don't get me wrong, the actors all performed their roles admirably. It's just that there wasn't much for them to work with. Part of me wishes the writers had hewed more closely to the original source material, but that story is pretty nigh unfilmable.
Wanted is extremely loosely based on a comic book by writer Mark Millar and artist J.G. Jones. How extremely loosely you ask? When scripting of the adaptation began, only the first issue of the six-issue mini-series had been released. The screenwriters had less than 20 percent of the story to go on. Hence, a movie that completely abandons the very premise of its source material to such a degree that it's nearly unrecognizable to anyone who's read the comic.
The comic is a black comedy, a self-parody of not only superhero comics but of the people who read them. It's a self-mocking, over-the-top, absurdest farce, the sole goal of which is to take the piss out of the recent comic book trend of overly-glamorized violence and sexuality. It's a joke. The movie adaptation, however, doesn't get the punchline.
But hey, if mindless drivel, boring, derivative action and a veritable cornucopia of explosions is your cup o' tea, then have at it. Wanted is definitely for you.