Saturday, June 28, 2008

Movie Review - Wanted

You may note the picture above seems out of place, though we assure you its presence was no mistake. It turns out that despite our robust selection of action figures, we've none of Angelina Jolie (iD&Di: .26). Therefore, we've resorted to a pun, and for that, dear reader, you have our sincerest apology.

In our defense, we've a mantra here in The Middle Room: that a bad pun is harmless, while a good pun is an insult to the art form. It is our considered opinion that if you meditate on the wisdom of this, then you will soon forgive us.

Moving on, Wanted is something of a farce, more a comedy than an action movie. This is in no way a criticism, it should be mentioned, but rather an observation. For some, we suspect this will be an impediment. But we are more than happy to indulge in mindless action from time to time, particularly when the results are this much fun.

Shall we begin with the comparisons? You've most likely already seen Wanted compared to Fight Club and The Matrix, and there is certainly some ring of truth to this claim. Still, these similarities are superficial and somewhat misleading. The writer of Wanted, we'd wager, enjoyed Fight Club a great deal, and the director, we suspect, is a fan of The Matrix. Belaboring such points seems unnecessary: there are worse movies for an action flick to emulate, after all. In the end, the parallels are, as Douglas Adams once said, mostly harmless. We saw the resemblance and our opinion of the film remained intact.

If we were to compare Wanted with an existing film, we might turn instead to The Long Kiss Goodnight, an excellent action film with a similar sense of humor. Human life, in these films, is an expendable commodity, and yet it is impossible to take any of it too seriously. There is fun to be had in mayhem and destruction, and both films are gleeful at heart.

Wanted is well directed, well paced, and entertaining. It is not exceedingly clever or intelligent, but then it doesn't seem to be angling for an Oscar. This is a summer movie for a hot day. This, we submit, is the reason air conditioned theaters were invented.

If The Long Kiss Goodnight were a five star film, we feel comfortable giving Wanted four. If you are only going to see one movie beginning with a "W" this week, by all means make it Wall*E. But should you find the heat oppressive and desire a second trip to the cinema, Wanted offers a lot of blood, a lot of death, and lot of childish fun.

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