Thought I was going to give you little snippets of information that add up to a blog entry? Guess again.
After a lengthy respite -- from Brevity and from advanced movie screenings -- I saw Wanted Thursday night. I'm usually a good judge of movies, knowing ahead what I'm willing to see and willing to avoid, but I couldn't get a handle on this one. I knew it was going to be all kinds of stupid, but would it still be fun?
My answer is no. (Though much of the packed audience -- and many critics -- vote yes.) Generally, I keep an open mind, but this movie turned me off in the first 30 minutes: An Indian woman is the first to die. James McAvoy drops his appealing Scottish accent to play American. And the same song is used twice as background music. (Despite Martin Scorsese being guilty of that last one on two counts in The Departed and still winning Best Director, I say all of these examples are strikes against the filmmakers.)
There is a car chase that walks a fine line of being long but not too long, and an assassin training sequence that manages to be brutal yet interesting. But the rest is a loud, obnoxious mess. McAvoy's been on a roll lately as an actor, so this big-budget U.S. debut comes as a bit of a disappointment, even though it's not his fault. I will give him credit for bulking up and bringing more to the table, physique wise, than the rapidly disintegrating Angelina Jolie.
Speaking of Angelina, she does a remarkable job of phoning in her performance even when she's on-screen. She's like a CGI Jolie, inserted into scenes where appropriate. I'm not sure how else to describe it; she's just not there. Morgan Freeman can bring class and substance to anything, even this embarrassing movie. It's his duty to explain the film's ridiculous premise (which I won't go into) and its inevitable twist (that I felt was coming but couldn't quite justify given what I'd already seen). But I'll give Freeman a pass here; many lesser actors have done worse for a paycheck.