Posted on 7/08/08 12:47 PM
An above mediocre action flick, "Wanted," directed by Russian director Timur Bekmambetov of "Nightwatch" acclaim, is tolerable summer fare that aspires to be an in-your-face extravaganza of slow-motion, CGI bullets and attitude but fires more than a few blanks.
James McAvoy plays a cubicle jockey everyman accountant stuck in a dead-end job, who undergoes a Tyler Durden-esque self-transformation in the acceptance of his destiny as a member of a clan of super-powered assassins, assisted by Angelina Jolie as the stoic leader of the group. Chases and explosions abound in the bombast of the daily life of a killer, which doesn't start soon enough as we drudge through a rather drab origin sequence and listen to the banal mythos of the movie (a loom? really?). The final action sequence, however, is something to behold, and left me with a feeling that the movie could have been so much more if it found its home in those breathtaking shots.
The film is mildly fun and frivolous, and succeeds at what it it means to be, but doesn't really delve too deep before it starts to feel shallow. Moreover the film's breaking of the fourth wall is kitschy at first, but the self-awareness culminates in annoyance as it begins to goad the audience. The "Matrix" this is not, but if your hankerings for bullet time and gratuitous nude butt shots (no complaints here) haven't been satisfied lately, no harm no foul.