Angelina Jolie is hot, there’s no denying that, and seeing her shoot bullets around hunks of dead meat has its charms, but are they enough?
I’m talking about her latest, Wanted, which I went to see last night with a buddy of mine (and a competitor, when it comes to certain blossom) yesterday afternoon. I had a ball hanging out with him, despite the questionable flick.
Man, this was one bloody and violent flick – and this assessment is coming from a died-in-the-wool horror writer/fan, so take that in consideration. Yeah, for a fantasy/action/whatnot film, well, they were a bit heavy-handed with the catsup bottle. Necessary? No. Gratuitous? Yes. Entertaining? The jury’s still out on that one.
You see, the movie is a visual treat. The car chases/crashes are over-the-top cool (natch), the action sequences are adrenaline-rush choreographed (natch, again), and the special effects are special (natch, also). The actors all put in earnest performances (good).
So what went wrong?
The script. And I kind of felt it in the pit of my stomach going in. All the good stuff was expected – in this day and age, if the special effects aren’t special, well, something is really wrong. And car chases are now physics-defying marvels. So all that stuff met expectations. But the script. It’s become the Achilles heel of the action/popcorn movie genre, which, sadly, has become another expectation. It’s like they’re so worried about the other issues that the script must bend to them, rather than embrace them, so we get ginormous holes, spotty character motivations and characterizations, logic lapses, and just “well, they don’t need to know that” moments that have you walking out with one big-ass question on your mind.
I give this flick a C
P.S. One more thought. End of the 70s Alien was released and it changed the look of science fiction films for good. This is definitely a post-Matrix flick. Unlike Alien’s influence, I don’t think The Matrix has been all that positive on genre films. It’s made it okay for characters in the know to like, withhold important information, without anyone really complaining about it. You get lines like, “shoot the wings off the flies”, and the character, who has no idea he can do it (of course, we know) blubbers and moans as he’s taken down a path of the impossible without getting very many answers as to how/why/etc. While no film in recent memory is as egregious as the Matrix films, there’s definitely a belief that cool clothes and sexy stances trump all. Riddle me this…