Dead or Alive | Film | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Screen » Film

Dead or Alive

Jolie in a shot from the new Whitesnake videoYou are going to have to set aside common sense to enjoy this movie. It'll be no


Jolie in a shot from the new Whitesnake videoYou are going to have to set aside common sense to enjoy this movie. It'll be no fun if you question the logistics of Wanted, with its dopey dialogue and ridiculous plot. Better to sit back and enjoy the ride while this flick delivers a ton of exhilarating, jaw-dropping action scenes.

The plot unfolds with a quick voice-over narrative biography explaining the lame existence of one Wesley Gibson (James McAvoy), a stressed out accountant, stagnating in his measly meek life. People abuse and take advantage of him on a daily basis. Oh, if only he could grow a pair... Enter Fox (a tattooed ultra sleek Angelina Jolie) who literally whisks Gibson away to employ his unknown talents for an underground assassin club called the Fraternity. Sound farfetched so far? You betcha. But who cares? Right when you think the film will get long and uninteresting, Wanted pumps in the adrenaline-beginning with some Matrix-effect flying bullets.

The film's title was misleading to me -I thought it was like a wanted poster hit list-nope-it's the fact that Wesley is wanted for his mind-over-matter powers.

Wesley is introduced to the Fraternity's leader, the wise and stoic Sloan (Morgan Freeman) who indoctrinates Wesley by having him pummeled and stabbed with knives in a butcher shop. These tactics are supposed to make him stronger. And it's OK, because after he is beaten beyond recognition he wakes up in what is referred to as the "recovery room." Submerged in what resembles a milk/wax bath, (containing never explained healing powers) he is back to normal within hours. He's then asked to curve the course of bullets towards targets via his will. Hey, I told you it's farfetched.

After recruitment training ends, Wesley turns into a bullet-bending killing machine. The main crux of the plot then hinges on revenge for the man who killed his father. Basically, he goes on murder-for-hire sprees dictated by a loom in a textile factory. No joke, the "Loom of Time," as they call it, was used when weavers from 1000 years ago formed the Fraternity after finding a code in the fabric dictating which traitor needed to be killed. The motto is simple: kill one, save a thousand. It may just be me, but the idea of glorifying assassins as a super-cool cult is just wrong.

The plot twists and turns, everything gets all weirdly tangled up, but mind-boggling violent special effects keep coming your way. With this much dazzle, you could care less about the father/son assassin rekindling. The only genuine acting employed is by McAvoy. Jolie and Freeman just seem comfortable in their roles walking through the breaking glass and spurting blood.

Wanted is totally ludicrous. I think Russian director Timur Bekmambetov knew he was making an "it's-so-bad-it's-good" flick and beefing it up with stunning special effects. And it works. It has bad dialogue, a wretched plot riddled with bullet holes, no real acting to speak of, some parts that should have hit the editing floor, dumb jokes for audience fodder, but I recommend it highly. It has brains splattering, bullets spinning, twisting and bashing into each other, a heap of swearing, sex scenes, revenge scenes, car crashes, car chases, train wrecks, loud noises, slow motion stop action and super fast editing. This movie literally pulls no punches. This is a comic book told on the big screen in epic cartoon proportions. A lot of the time you can't believe anything you're seeing. So, suspend that disbelief-this is what escapism in the movies is all about.

About The Author

Add a comment

More by Eric Flowers