July 11, 2008

A friend who is a Dante scholar recommended WANTED. I assume he had his reasons, and they are probably all Angelina Jolie. I have my own fixation on James McAvoy, and was glad to see the film for that reason. I left of two minds, however. I think McAvoy is potentially one of the best film actors of his generation, especially now with the loss of Heath Ledger. His first major film, THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND, suggested that fact, while his second, ATONEMENT, confirmed it. In WANTED, however, he seems to be spinning his wheels looking for some sort of emotional grounding that’s definitely not in the script. It’s a fun film, if you can call a film that not only glorifies but actually glamorizes violence “fun.” This is not a good-guys-forced-to-confront-evil kind of story, but a plot that actually asserts that the good guy must willingly choose to kill. It’s on morally questionable grounds at best. Story aside, I dislike the thought that McAvoy is going to be turned into another Hollywood steroid puppet like Tobey Maguire, a once-promising young actor who hasn’t done anything worthwhile since he beefed up his scrawny boy torso and began his Spiderman crusade. Despite my crush, I don’t want to see McAvoy all hotted up and toting bullet-spinning mega-guns while spouting lines that belong in a Rambo film. Keep Colin Farrell, Keanu Reeves, Brad Pitt and all the other non-actors—but don’t steal McAvoy!

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