In any comic book super hero movie, and Wanted is a type of comic book super hero movie, there has to be that one moment in which your understanding of the main character, here Wesley Gibson played by James McAvoy, suddenly becomes a deeper understanding of yourself. This movie or comic book isn’t just about Peter Parker, or Bruce Wayne, or Bruce Banner, or Neo – it’s about me…it’s about the audience member sitting next to me.
There comes a point in Wanted where I had that moment. When Wesley has met the fist end of Angelina Jolie’s, here the beautiful Fox’s, arm a few too many times, and his face is dripping blood and he can hardly breath much less speak, he finally has the courage to utter the honest words to her question “Why did you come here?”. A moment that sent chills up my spine. A moment that for Wesley, who has been beaten down by every aspect of his life and can’t fight anymore, decides to open up and be vulnerable. It is also the answer any cult waits for so they can pounce.
For most movie goers Timur Bekmambetov’s new hopelessly, giddily violent take on the assassin’s creed story will be just a another crazy fun night at the movies, for me it became the most inspiring film I think I may see this year.
Timur Bekmambetov is the Kazhak director of those vampire-esque, visual whirlwind fantasy/horror movies called Night Watch and Day Watch. Even if you don’t understand the mythology and story of these films it’s a thrill to watch them (notice the subtitles…very cool), and as director of Wanted he brings with him that same jazzed up anything can happen (and usually does) mentality. That’s right, because anything can happen, you have no idea what will happen.
And the only reason this movie works is because it sticks to the insane rules it creates. If it didn’t it would be one silly hard to swallow movie.
You see Wesley is the son of a famous assassin (famous only to assassins) and like his Father he has certain abilities that make him perfect for the job. The job being to kill the man that killed his Father. The Fraternity rescues him. The Fraternity is a fancy name for a group of killers that have taken it upon themselves to be first class assassins for a higher cause. I leave that higher cause for you to discover, but it delves into Greek Mythologies that I wasn’t expecting to see in a crazy violent movie. The Fraternity consists of Fox (Jolie), Sloan (a wonderful Morgan Freeman) and many other actors with one named characters.
A lot of the intellectual coollness is thanks to comic book scribe Mark Millar (whose Kick-Ass I’m currently reading, but you don’t have to because it’s being adapted into a movie as well.)
Wanted is a hero’s journey. A vibrantly violent hero’s journey. One that knows when to take joy in it’s violence but also knows when to effect you emotionally with it. One that is so stylized and driven that you leave the theatre wanting to vault over a moving car…though I would suggest against it, my hip still hurts.