Review: Wanted is Excessive in a Very Good Way

Excess gets a bad rap in our culture. Excessive force will cost you your badge. Excessive speed will jack your insurance rates up. But sometimes, as Wanted proves, having too much of something is a great thing. Wanted is too bloody, too over the top, too silly, and too special effects driven. It's also excessively entertaining and fun.

The story is a mash-up of V for Vendetta, The Matrix, and Fight Club. Is it as good as that pedigree? Yes, at times for certain. No, it doesn't have the smarts of The Matrix or the innovation factor of the other two but it is a consistently funny and interesting flick. The other attaboy to give here is the conflicts the film sets up. Situations where you think "Hmmm, how are they gonna write their way out of THIS mess?" In that respect it's better than the aforementioned films as none of those present serious dilemmas where you're not sure what will happen next.

Let's talk plot! James (Jimmy) McAvoy plays a anxiety ridden office worker who hates his job. He's offered the chance to do something a bit more interesting when he meets Ms. Jolie in a pharmacy. But what exactly is going on here? There's killing galore under the tutelage of Morgan Freeman but is there an overriding morality to this equation? So there you go. Plot points have now been explained. Sweet.

I feel like I need to ding this film for something, so that they let me keep my official reviewer badge. This film goes to the well around two too many times with the bullet cam. It is cool the first time but around the fifth you think "hey, where have I seen that before?" Then you remember. You saw it 15 minutes ago in the movie called Wanted. Then you frown. But overall this film strolls. It'll make you laugh, make you think about your life, make you pleased when on-screen deaths are accomplished in a new and fun ways. Jolie also proves (with great aplomb) why she's the sexiest symbol the universe currently has to offer. She mean, clever, and full-on attractive. I give her praise and thanks. I salute her for her glory.

So it seems as though we're in luck this weekend. Wall-E is spectacularly good and Wanted feels very instant classic-ish as well. Some people, those not drawn in by crisp visuals and casual one-liners will dismiss this one as shallow generation whatever-we're-in nonsense. But I say "nay" to that general line of thinking. Art evolves. Entertainment marches forward. And Wanted is one of the most entertaining films of the year. Huzzah!

Grade: A-