So, after much deliberating last night, I sucked it up and ventured over to the Levee’s AMC for the midnight showing of “Wanted.” This is the short review: YEAH!!! Now lets dig in for something a little longer, perhaps a little more in-depth. For as silly a movie as it is, a film-goer can still glean a little something by breaking through the violent, glossy hard shell that this movie is surrounded by. This, of course, is thanks to the source material, the (dare-I-say) more violent and all around meaner comic book of the same name by Mark Millar and J.G. Jone. The film could easily be written off as violence porn, adolescent wish-fulfillment or middle-class angst (all of which the film is) but if you want a little more out of it, it’s there for you.
“Wanted” is by no means a great movie. No, it won’t be joining the ranks of our traditionally acclaimed masterpieces. It is however an awesome movie. I’ve made no secret about my dislike of boring back and forth in movies. My disdain for quirky family melodramas and not-funny-more-pathetic “black comedies.” I feed on dumb humor, huge explosions, laser beams, gun play, pulpy dialogue, heads being blown open and anything else that can fall into the “Popcorn Logic” genre. Screw the fall, if I ran the Oscars, the summer would be when I was paying attention. I’ve done my time with subtitles and sadness, black-and-white and emotional devastation, subtle humor and not really thinking its all that funny. If I want to kick back with some twizzlers and watch Doomsday, leave me be. Remember you may think it’s silly to pay 10 bucks to see something that isn’t a masterpiece, but I think it’s dumb for you to want to pay 10 bucks to see a downer movie. Remember this, I’ll always be having more fun at my movies.
But what about the movie? Well, I’m not here to spoil anything, so I’ll be keeping quiet on that front. All you need to know is that any action movie directed by the Russian fellow who did “Nightwatch” and “Daywatch” is already getting a good grade in my book. He doesn’t give a damn if it “couldn’t happen in real life” and runs whole-hog with the sentiment. Movie are escapist, a means to avoid real-life, they have been since they started. Don’t fix what aint broke, but do improve on the visuals.
The movies ham-fisted message is breaking out of your workaday life, taking the reins back from the world, a surprisingly relevant film in lieu of my post yesterday. Of course, I wouldn’t ask that, once you quit that job, you join up with a swarthy band of super-assassins, but the messages are best served over-the-top with a side car chases.
The other overriding message is to learn how live without guilt. We spend too much apologizing for things that aren’t our fault or that we have no real control over. Again, lets not go out and kill people with wanton abandon, but the idea is there, trust me. This was a point that was made clearer in the comic book, and also garners a lot of the “adolescent” criticisms that people are hurling at the film. But why shouldn’t we live without guilt? We did so when we were children, before the world said we needed to fit in to certain modes of behavior, and we all look back on being younger positively in this respect. Guilt is a learned feeling, drilled into us by years of other people telling us something we did was wrong. Feeling guilty is putting down the side of yourself that made the decision, an action that does nothing else besides make us feel like we are a bad person. Guilt is entirely about living in the past, a feeling of remorse of the coulda-woulda-shoulda aspects of our lives. Don’t be so hard on yourself! If you don’t judge your actions by what other people do life gets a whole lot easier. You made the decisions for a reason and now its over and done with. Dwelling on things gets in the way of all the other fun stuff you could be doing!
In the end though “Wanted” is just fun. Seriously though, if the words “but it was so unrealistic” have ever come out of your mouth you may want to go see something at the art-house. The rest of you? Go have fun! Oh, and don’t drive like a maniac when you leave the theater like I did. Speed Racer had the same effect on me.