Saturday, 13 September 2008

Wanted - Did you say action?

First impressions right after leaving the cinema:
I've just watched 1 hour and 50 mins pure action, and I didn't react badly to it,
I would rather be trained by these professional assassins than by V (from V for Vendetta) which I find a bit funny,
and I feel so bad for those rats!

The good: the direction and art direction in this movie is amazing. Instead of making a gritty, dark action film, he made a stylized, shiny and over the top action film, that despite all the horrible things that happen still seem rather light, which I think it had to be, to be able to sit through it. The action sequences feature bullet time, rewinding, experimental camera angles and effective zooming. Everything from the shooting to the cgi works perfectly together and if you are interested in art direction and/or action direction, it's a must see. And.. that's really the only reason to see it.

The plot is very basic, with no fleshed out characters, and plot twists you can see a mile away. I understand that the film is based on a comic book with no real story, but I would think it would be possible to write an action film script with actual plot twists. The predictable plot twists also ruin the few moments in the film that are supposed to be touching. The big supposedly touching moment in the film, right after the most spectacular shooting yet, ends up just being a "meh" moment. Besides for Wesley, an account manager that doesn't care about anything, not even the fact that his girlfriend is having an affair with his best friend, but for some reason has a very strong will to live, none of the characters have much personality. They're there to do their thing, being an expert knife fighter, or a bomb expert or the devoted romantic interest, and their one dimensionality ends up making you not care at all when the big fights ensues.

It's obvious that Bekmambetov went into this project wanting to create a pure, visually stunning action film, and that he has managed admirably, but you end up wondering if the film had been better if they'd just cut out all the plot elements put in to try to make you care, and make the plot seem stronger. No plot is actually better than a weak plot, but is it really impossible to write a good plot for an action film?

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