Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Help Wanted

No, really. Wanted needs all the help it can get. Someone needs to do this movie a favor and give it one plausible plot component. For a movie about fabric there are are a whole lot of holes in the ridiculous plot.

This is the kind of film that fills you with questions. Questions such as:
Why is there only one woman in "The Fraternity"? Why would they even have a woman in something called "The Fraternity"?
Why would you suddenly like and try to emulate your absentee father because you find out he's a super-assassin?
I know how you got the rats in the dump truck, but how in the hell did you train them to disperse themselves evenly inside the textile mill once you dumped them in the courtyard? And how is it that the blast from the rats is strong enough to blow out all the windows, yet even the people we saw in close proximity to the rats were not harmed in any way by them exploding?
Why is there a butchery department in the textile mill?
Why would you go downstairs to fight the butcher guy and red-shirt-guy when the guy you really want to kill is upstairs?
If Morgan Freeman has been manufacturing names out of the textile machine for years, why would you believe him when he told you your name came up?
How, exactly, does fate work a textile machine? What does fate do while the textile machine is off? How did The Fraternity get these codes a thousand years ago when they were manually weaving the textiles? When you manually weave textiles, any flaws in the fabric results from your mistake. That's not fate, it's your shoddy workmanship!

Wanted is also the kind of film that makes you realize you're much smarter than most screenwriters assume you are. You know bullets can't curve, no matter how wildly you flail the gun around while firing. You know that the human heart can only beat so many times before it would just explode from pressure. You know that you can't shoot a single bullet through the heads of several people standing in a circle. That bullet would not only have to be curving, but extraordinarily strong and travelling at a speed few hand guns can produce.

James McAvoy's character, Wesley, has a fat lady for a boss, who is cruel to him because he doesn't complete his work in a timely manner. Rather than maybe think that her treatment of him is due to his poor work ethic and productivity, he immediately jumps to the conclusion that she's giving him a hard time because people used to give her a hard time for being heavy. Here's how he tells her off:
   "Wesley: [yelling to Janice] Shut the fuck up!
   [the office grows quiet]
   She has one single iota of tenuous power. She thinks she can push everyone around.

   [grabs Janice's stapler]

   Wesley: You don't need this.

   [throws stapler into the wall of his cubicle]

   I understand. Junior high must've been kind of tough, but it doesn't give you the right to treat your workers like horseshit, Janice. I know we laugh at you, Janice. We all know you keep a stash of jelly donuts in the top drawer of your desk. But I want you to know, if you weren't such a bitch, we'd feel sorry for you. I do feel sorry for you. But as it stands, the way you behave - I feel I can speak for the entire office when I tell you... go fuck yourself"

Now, there are several problems with this. He doesn't know how long Janice has been heavy. He mockingly calls her "anorexic" in the opening narration. Riiiight, because only skinny people have eating disorders.
But the thing that really gets me is that he tells her that "if you weren't such a bitch, we'd feel sorry for you." Feel sorry for her??? Not that they'd like her, not that they'd be friends with her if she were nicer? Get real. She's overweight! Apparently, all you do for a nice fat girl is feel bad for her, right?
It could not be more obvious that this movie was written by a group of men.

Further evidence: Wesley's girlfriend is sleeping with his best friend. Wesley concludes that this is because she's a bitch and his best friend is a jerk. The only time we see Wesley with his girlfriend, he tells us that her voice is annoying. He also leaves for assassin camp and doesn't bother to tell her where he's going. When he finally shows back up, she starts yelling at him. This is understandable. If the person you're living with disappears with no explanation, you'd have some choice words for them the next time you saw them. Then Angelina Jolie breezes in and makes out with Wesley, to show off to his ex. Sure, because if your loser ex-boyfriend, who seemingly never really liked you anyways, dropped off the face of the Earth then showed up with some tattooed brunette, you'd suddenly realize "you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone". Another keen summary of the female condition! The screenwriters must be an expert on women. It's like they're in my head!

The screenwriters also love video games. Wesley fights through the bad guys at the end. Each bad guy has an increased level of difficulty in killing, and he must use different fighting techniques for each of them. After he's killed all the level bosses bad guys, he gets to the big boss leader of The Fraternity. That's when things get interesting, and by interesting I mean defying all logic.

But there's a silver lining. The effects are fantastic, barring some obviously computer-generated rats. The awesomeness of the stunts and special effects is almost enough to make you forget about how insulting the plot is to your intelligence. Almost. Not quite.

You'll love this movie if you liked The Matrix, hate women, and are missing half your brain.

P.S. Morgan Freeman, Laurence Fishburne pwns you when it comes to action movies. Think about that.
Angelina Jolie, I really liked Tomb Raider, in spite of myself. This is how you repay me?


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