Posts Tagged ‘Angelina Jolie’

Wanted

July 24, 2008

It may matter to you, it may not – but this review definitely contains spoilers.

So, just how rubbish is Wanted?

Put it this way; if, after the movie finished, Angelina Jolie herself had come out from behind the curtain and begun to service me with her bouncy chair lips, running herself up and down my shaft and continuously muttering “I’m sorry about the film” for as long as it took before I burst my frothy top, I would still walk away with an overwhelming sense of disappointment.

That’s how rubbish it is.

Normally at this point I would be calling for the heads of the filmmakers and the actors to be brought before me as a sacrificial display of consumer power, but not this time. Here, my irk is squared directly at the people who sold me the movie, at the people who cut the trailers and the journalists who salivated over the orgy of averageness.

This is not the next great leap forward. This is not Angelina Jolie proving her worth in tabloid gossip, nor James ‘Mr Tumnus’ McAvoy becoming a leading man…

It is not the first great action film of the summer and it is not a good example of what can be done by mixing crazed Soviet directors with Western budgets.

It is balls. Pure and simple balls, and I hold those who told me it was anything but responsible.

This film is a triumph of marketing, of deceptive trailer teasing and wilful cohesion on my behalf. It’s as much my fault as anybody else’s because I chose to believe their bullshit this time around. Instead of cynically avoiding it based on past experiences I fell for their fast cuts and hyped hyperbole and it led me into a world of regret. Had I expected nothing, had I been uninformed and unexcited then I would have discovered an ok action film… but I didn’t. I was offered the moon and like a foolish and greedy child I reached for it.

Mr Tumnus plays Wesley Gibson, a pathetic loser of an American accent who has a shit job and a zero result hit on Google. Based on a clear and obvious lie about his lineage he is inducted into a fraternity of assassins who kill targets chosen by a mystical weaving ‘Loom of Fate’ and presided over by the villain – oops, I mean a gravitas-intoning Morgan Freeman. I’m not making this up. A Loom of Fate. Morgan Freeman actually says at one point ‘this is the Loom of Fate’. It’s fucking awful.

For half the film Morgan trains Tumnus by going on and on about the ripples of our actions and how they kill one person to save a thousand. Angelina is there too, playing an assassin called ‘the Fox’ but who may as well be called Emo Teenager’s Wet Dream, such is the gratuitous Nine Inch Nails soundtracking to her slow-motion tattooed fetishism. Tumnus gets beaten up by the guy from Hustle, learns to curve bullets and surfs trains before, six weeks later, becoming a world class assassin with superhuman abilities to slow time.

I know what you’re thinking – that it actually sounds pretty cool, right? Silly and forgetful, but a little bit cool. I mean, come on, a fraternity of magical assassins who kills the butterfly effectors of the world for a greater good. Looks good on paper, n’est pas?

I thought so too. I was wrong. It’s one of those films where opening a door takes 15 different cuts, angles, whip pans and needless CGI shots to achieve – where what should be gleefully celebrated as silly is taken as the height of seriousness and where every action sequence is undermined by the relentless safety net of computer highjiggerypokery.

What is particularly frustrting is that this should be a good movie. The director, Timur Bekmambetov, made the awesome Nightwatch which, while equally ludicrous and self indulgent, still manages to makes sense and is hardly shy of creativity. The action scenes, where he normally excels, are empty and marred by such bad editing that they don’t make any sense whatsoever – hiding their flaws and rampant inconsistancies behind flashes and shakes of post production meddling. This film should have been a two hour version of the Hotel Lobby scene from the Matrix – instead it was like all the bad bits from the remake of Gone in 60 Seconds.

Half way through, the plot thus far is switched and the potentially good setup is squandered on needless story twists and the sense that we should take the story seriously and care for these characters. McAvoy handles the role well, but Jolie is like a bored Lara Croft, her performance a phoned-in montage of seductive glances and blank stares. Morgan Freeman is wasted as the leader of the assassins, intoning as if at a bible meeting and wearing a huge flashing sign around his neck saying ‘Bad Guy.’ Terence Stamp pops up and then pops down again with little or no influence. It’s all so… corporate… and hardly the anarchic gunfest I was led to believe it was.

That said, it’s got style and some really nice imagery and the ideas for some of the sequences, if not the sequences themselves, are very nice. Unfortunately the tone is all wrong and instead of thrilling and delighting it bores and annoys.

This is all the fault of the marketing people. Movies have to be big these days. Big, big, big, big, BIG. They have to have big stars and big openings and big press and it all ruins the final effect of the film. Had Wanted been a slow burning word of mouth movie, it would have been so much better. Had I not been exposed to all the hype and reviews and relentless plugging I may not have expected so much and may have enjoyed it more.

Like I have said, though, this is as much my fault too. After so many years of being disappointed by movies I thought were going to be great I should have learnt my lesson. Nothing will ever be as good as you want it to be, or as you’ve heard it is, or as they tell you it is. Wanted could have been a pleasant surprise, instead it was just another rubbish movie.

There’s still The Dark Knight and Hellboy 2 to come though… and they’re obviously going to be great.

EastEnders

June 17, 2008

As if we weren’t bored enough by it in the first place, Mad May returns to the Square to try and nick Dawn’s fucking baby. Again.

Now – this baby used to be nothing but a source of stress for young, crumple-faced Dawn who would attempt to foist it on any willing baby-sitter going so she could go out with unrealistic best mates Shabs and Carlie on the razz. Now that Carlie’s conveniently disappeared and Shabnam appears to have been locked in a basement, the coast is clear for Dawn to act like a responsible mother again – one who actually gives a shit about her baby. And as we all know, this means guaranteed boredom for those of us who watch this crap as May – the Howard’s Way type actress who looks like she’s on the wrong set – turns the lunacy up to eleven and we’re shown a bajillion shots of Dawn running away from something uninteresting. Hoo-fucking-ray. They’re trailing this rubbish as though we’re all excited about it. It’s a fucking disgrace.

It was entirely unrealistic in the first place. May and her husband could easily have adopted from overseas what with them both being rich, young professionals. Why would they want an infant from a working-class gene pool? If they were going to go for a peasant child, it might as well be an ethnic one, like Madonna’s or Jolie’s.

So what involving storylines have we got to keep us going while all this sprog-theft is going on? Since Bradley and Stacey broke up – nothing whatsoever. It’s enough to make you miss Max Branning.

Heather and Minty and Gal and Shirl and Bobby bleeding Davro can get lost. The Slaters are relying on schizophrenic Jean for laughs, which seems a bit off. Bradley’s starring in the most ill-thought out Indecent Proposal thread going – and even if the Millers ever find that lottery ticket after all this time, I’ve lost all patience by now. Phil Mitchell must’ve exploded, as he’s not been huffing and wheezing behind his bar for weeks.

And in other news – where on God’s green earth is Billy? Apparently he turned up for five-a-side training a week ago and he’s been mentioned in conversation as though he’s been about – but clearly Perry Fenwick is on some kind of sabbatical as I’ve seen hide nor hair of his E.T-shaped head for months. He’s even taken Honey and his kids with him, though admittedly that’s actually a massive blessing.

Despite the fact I’ve said this a million times before and never come good on the promise – if things don’t get spicy – and fast – I’m leaving Walford for good.