Sunday, July 6, 2008

Movie: Wanted

My interests extend beyond gardening and cooking, although it would be hard to tell from this blog. I enjoy gratuitous sex and violence, for instance, in movies and books. It's like a little vacation in surreality. Today, we managed to slip away from the kids and see a summer action movie, Wanted.

I've liked James McAvoy since the 2003 BBC mini-series State of Play (where I also first saw Bill Nighy and Danny Warren). The Last King of Scotland was incredible for McAvoy, Narnia was... odd. I didn't see him in Atonement yet. This must be the film where he tries on the action hero suit. I am not so sure it fits.

Wanted is based on a graphic novel, so the whole movie requires considerable suspension of disbelief. I didn't read the comic book, and I suspect that certain scenes were tied to it (like certain scenes in 300 were snapshots from the graphic novel). I've seen this Angelina Jolie before, as Mrs. Tomb Raider Smith. This must have been a contract fulfillment film for her - she isn't the star, just a vehicle for tattoos and eye makeup. I wanted more for the Marc Warren "Repairman" character, too. I like Warren in the BBC's Hustle series, and I was ready to see him step up to a bigger role, but this movie was not that step. He was just muscle, although he does have some memorable moments toward the end of the film. (No spoilers here.)

But don't get me wrong; I enjoyed this movie. It was full of cool visual effects and over-the-top violence. It moves fast and sometimes you catch yourself saying "Cool!" out loud. It was what it was intended to be - a summer action movie. Two hours in the air conditioning, watching people do stunts that are just beyond the edge of belief. Some reviewers are calling it a Matrix rip-off, but I don't see that. The plot is the classic "average schmuck finds out he is secretly someone way cooler." A little closer to Fight Club.

So far this summer, I have only seen Iron Man (Downey *did* become an action hero), and KungFu Panda (amazing animation). Much as I like the big screen, theatre tickets are $9.50 now ($6.50 at matinee).
I am only planning to see these in the theatre: HellBoy II (Guillermo del Toro, Death Race (Jason Statham is another fav of mine), and Dark Knight (for the Ledger performance),

Waiting for Cable: Narnia II, Speed Racer, Indiana Jones, Hancock, X Files 2, The Mummy 3, The Clone Wars.
I like comedy and drama, too - but nothing is really catching my eye among the blockbusters. I don't think I ever want to see Will Ferrell again. I will have to watch the smaller films and festival prizes for that, I guess.

Memo to self: Remember to see In Bruges, which we missed in February. Been a slow year for Colin Farrell movies.

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