Pin It
Favorite

Take Two 

Wanted & r & & r & by MARYANN JOHANSON & r & & r & & lt;span class= "dropcap " & T & lt;/span & he ultimate geek's dream of a movie? It could be Wanted. And I don't mean because all the geeky guys have Angelina Jolie to drool over. Frankly, she scares me ... though I think a lot of the geeky guys like her because she scares them too. And I don't mean because we girls -- and a few of the guys, I guess -- have James McAvoy, making a dynamic transition from Merchant Ivory-esque heartthrob to Hollywood action hero. If you're the kind of girl, like me, who might have thought it would be awesome to throw, oh, I dunno, Mr. Darcy into Die Hard, well, this is almost it. (And I have to confess that, as huge a fan of McAvoy's as I am, I didn't think he had "Hollywood action hero" in him. But he pulls it off beautifully.)





What I mean is this: How is it possible that Wanted -- which comes to us via a graphic novel by Mark Millar -- can simultaneously feel like one of the most cleverly original action scripts in years and recall a slew of hero's-journey adventures? It makes me wanna shout "Wow!" This is a thrill ride of a movie that is smart, surprising, visually stylish and viscerally electrifying. It's crammed with all sorts of action that we've seen before -- car crashes, gun battles, foot chases, fisticuffs, runaway trains -- done up with a ferocious freshness by director Timur Bekmambetov (of the Russian dark fantasy series including Day Watch and Night Watch), in his studio-film debut.





Wanted is The Matrix meets Harry Potter, with a little bit of Office Space thrown in for good measure. (Except Neo's on Xanax and the secret people are stone killers rather than wizards. But there is a red stapler.) See, McAvoy is a nebbishy cube dweller with anxiety issues and a pointy-haired boss who discovers he's heir to a spot in an ancient order of mystical assassins -- they have super-fast reflexes, they can put English on a bullet, and they take orders from ... well, you'll see: it's wonderfully audacious. Jolie is Trinity/Hermione, Morgan Freeman is Morpheus/Dumbledore, and as McAvoy undergoes the training to become a Jedi like his father before him, he'll learn all about forging stability out of chaos and using the Force and....





What's surprising here isn't merely how Bekmambetov pulls off stuff like bullets getting shot around corners or how Millar pulls off how assassins can be mystical -- or even how delicious it is to see McAvoy transform himself from Dilbert to Die Hard.





Be warned, though: The finale is downright gruesome, to the point where it almost threatens to derail the movie at the moment when it could have been soaring. ("Bloodbath" doesn't even begin cover it.) But as wish-fulfillment, "I was born for better than this," Luke-staring-longingly-off-into-the-double-sunset fantasies goes, Wanted is a winner ... and it leaves you with one of the best last lines of a movie in ages. (Rated R)

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • In Defense of Refugees
  • In Defense of Refugees

    In the aftermath of the presidential election, local residents seek ways to love and support their refugee friends
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • No License to Kill
  • No License to Kill

    Task force says officers should be held responsible for police shootings; plus, state auditor clears Spokane Valley firing of city manager
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • Trumped-up Education
  • Trumped-up Education

    Could the President-elect's support of school choice trickle down to Spokane?
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun
RALLY

RALLY @ Washington Cracker Co. Building

Tue., Dec. 6, 6-8 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by n/a

  • Iron Upgrade
  • Iron Upgrade

    The new one is smart and funny and action-packed, and it’s bigger and better and sleeker. And Downey does it again, this time ramping up Stark’s arrogant wisecracking, telling anyone who’ll listen (mostly women) that, via the creation of his powerful Iron Man suit, he’s brought years of uninterrupted peace to the world.
    • May 12, 2010
  • Get Out the Vote
  • Get Out the Vote

    With all the uncertainty in the world these days, hot wings and cold beer are two things we can get behind
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • Seeing Gay
  • Seeing Gay

    A festival showing GLBT from all angles
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Unfinished Business

    Isaiah Wall wants to get his life on track. But first, he's gotta buy drugs for the police
    • Nov 17, 2016
  • This Isn't Normal

    America has gone down this road before, and it's a dead end
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

Briefs


green zone


marijuana


trail mix


election 2016


Readers also liked…

  • Patrolling While Black
  • Patrolling While Black

    Gordon Grant's nearly 30 years as a Spokane cop have been affected by race, but that's not the whole story
    • Jul 8, 2015
  • The Contenders
  • The Contenders

    Candidates have filed to run for office in Spokane. Here's what's at stake
    • May 20, 2015

© 2016 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation