Wednesday, 25 June 2008


"What the f*ck have you done lately?"

Comparisons to the Matrix and Fight Club are instantly going to be made with anyone who sees this film as they all basically use the same template. Bored office worker trundling along in life, wanting there to be more, is pulled out from it when they meet a mysterious and sexy stranger who introduces them to a new world.

The over the top action is also very much inspired by these two films and is taken to a whole new level, with curving bullets crashing into each other, car somersaulting across the streets, etc. The first sequence is almost too similar though, with a suited man jumping from a skyscraper, smashing with particles of glass surrounding him as he shoots in slow-motion.

Forgetting the basic story and the special effects similarities, Wanted is still a very enjoyable film and I enjoyed it quite a bit.

The action is very well executed, with great editing and spectacular shots, guns fights, knife fights, car chases and a train sequence (which is the highlight) being fun and actually quite gory.

James McAvoy plays an extremely good part as he’s grows from weedy nerd to cocky gun slinger, though I found the American accent a little disconcerting to begin with.

Angelina Jolie is... well... Angelina Jolie. She’s stunning throughout the entire movie, kicks ass in all the action sequence and genuinely made me fancy her even more. That woman is made for men, she is perfect (and you get to see her sexy wet bum too which is worth the price of admission alone).

Morgan Freeman plays his standard type of role with an little twist, but it’s essentially the same character you’ve seen before.

Only two problems I had with Wanted were-

Firstly the amount of swearing in it. I don’t have anything against swearing per se, but sometimes it just didn’t fit with the characters, it felt that the writer couldn’t think of a witty line to include so just decided to write the word “Fuck” again. It seemed lazy and unwarranted.

Secondly, the farfetched action sequences come fast and furious from the beginning with no real explanation as to how these people can defy gravity. The premise revolves around curving bullets which is sort of explained, but how a man jumps from building to building is never elaborated on at all. The Matrix’s key concept allowed similar sequences to flourish, so unless you accept gravity defying stunts with no reasoning you may find yourself rolling your eyes quite a bit. Sometimes the action is so fast hitting the phrase “Less is more” comes to mind. But they do look amazing; you just have to forget logic for a couple of hours.

Overall the film moves at a brisk pace from start to finish, I was never bored and some of the ideas are very cool and unique. You don’t necessarily get anything revolutionary or new with Wanted, but you do get a very enjoyable night at the cinema with fast cars, sexy women and extremely well staged action.


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Thursday, 19 June 2008

The Incredible Hulk


With the release of two marvel films in as many months, comparisons are bound to arise. So I’ll get them out of the way straight a way…

I enjoyed Iron Man better, only slightly, but it just goes to show how strong of a force Robert Downey Jr is in that film, because I actually think Hulk has a better overall story and action set pieces. Yet Downey Jr’s charisma gives Iron Man the edge.

Edward Norton plays a good part as Bruce Banner, yet the problem with Hulk as a character is the huge difference between man and monster (superhero). With the majority of other superhero’s you get the same man just wearing their costume, so the emotional connection remains for the audience much easier between the transition. With Hulk and Banner the transformation is much grander and causes the connection to almost be lost, to the point that they become two quite separate characters.

This is no fault of the filmmakers just an underlying issues with the character itself. Despite how great Norton is, I wanted more Hulk. With Iron Man and Batman Begins, I actually enjoyed the time with Tony Stark and Bruce Wayne almost more than their hero counterparts (no easy feat within a superhero film).

With that minor gripe out of the way, (and it is minor considering how good the rest of the film is) lets get on with the review.

The story is relatively simple and is essentially a long chase in the same vain as the original TV series. This works well though and gives it it’s strength, leaving room to build characters and their relationships and dedicate time to the creation of Abomination (a rarity in a Superhero film to have the villains origin given more time than the heroes (which was my only problem with Iron Man)).

I did like this as it breaks the regular superhero origin template that most “first” films follow.

The action is pretty spectacular and delivers full on comic book thrills for the silver screen, with sonic cannons and an excellent (almost pitch-perfect) climatic battle.

The special effects are brilliant, Hulk and Abomination both look incredible even though (admittedly) the CG is still quite apparent. But then again is it ever going to be possible to make a 15 foot mass of green muscles look real?

I’d highly recommend this film to anyone, it’s definitely one of the better super-hero movies.


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