Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Wanted 2? Um, no thanks?


This early in development Wanted 2 sounds less than appetizing. Sure, Timur Bekmabetov only hints that the latest idea he has for the film is getting people worked up about the possibility of a sequel. But without any concrete indication of what that sequel has to offer, and only a) the quality of the previous film, b) the tenor or Bekmabetov's work to date and c) Millar's own work in comics of late to go on, I'm gonna say I'd be more than willing to sit this one out.

Wanted the comic is pure, undiluted idiocy. I don't hate Millar, I don't love Millar. Everything he's done has been a trifle; some of it well-written, some of it working purely as shock value, and some of it nails on a chalkboard cringe inducing. Kick Ass 2 the comic has made me angry more than it has engaged me and it did so because of its reliance on cheap shock tactics and ham-fisted plot mechanics.

Wanted the movie worked because Bekmabetov gave it an energy that worked in its favor. While Bekmabetov decision to play "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" completely straight looks like it isn't going to pay off, it is thrilling to see Bekmabetov totally invested in the ridiculous world of assassins on display in Wanted. The cast helps, but really the tone of the film genuinely fits the story and character arc. That's why it works. But it isn't a great film and it doesn't make me want to spend a lot more time with Wesley Gibson.

Truthfully, a Wanted sequel will turn out like the Matrix sequels. It gets tiresome watching completely invincible characters. The great thing about Wanted (and the Matrix and a lot of stories that deal with characters discovering these greater unknown or undeveloped powers) is the journey of discovery stuff. It's great to be thrown into these worlds and watch how these characters react. With Wesley it was great to see him giddy with child-like malevolence over his new-found abilities; it's stupefying wish fulfillment. But now that he can do (virtually) anything do we want to hang out with him? I don't.


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