I say you let me have’em (and by ’em I mean the writer’s career) first….

I went to see the new Jolie/ Freeman/ Kid from King of Scotland movie Wanted last week. (Ed. note: May be spoilers. Not sure. Haven’t written the rest yet.) Needless to say, it was pretty and there were fun splodeys and car bash’ems but none of that could keep my friend Kristie and I from laughing several times at parts of the movie, I’m pretty sure weren’t meant to be serious plot points.

Leaving the movie, we agreed it was worth about two thirds of what we paid just for the air conditioning but I just couldn’t shake the nagging feeling of disappointment. Usually I can just chalk it up to a loss and carry on, but Wanted was a case of lost potential.

By the time I passed Virgin Megastore in Union Square, I had come up with no less then six ways to save the movie from itself. So now that I’m at the internet, I’m going offer the execs at Universal/Spyglass my notes in order of easiest fixes to hardest and maybe next time they can save themselves before they even hire an actor.

8. Easiest: More Jolie backside.

I understand she’s at point in her career, payscale and brood size where she doesn’t have to give us any Gia-sized full frontal (What will Maddox think?) But if Timor could have coaxed a sex scene where a boob slips out, I would have been more enclined to keep my mouth shut.

7.Lil Harder: They killed the wrong guy.

By far the coolest character in the whole fucking movie dies at about minute four. David O’Hara’s brutish matrixy snaggle toothed baddie makes me want him to smack me with more of what he’s givin out. (There is a clip of that scene at fandango.com) And instead of Mr.X, we are left with Sean Bean wanna be/ human telegraphed plot twist Cross who is supposed to be Mr.X’s equal in everyway, but obviously is missing in the super human charisma gene.

6. Not so hard really. Enough with Matrix/ Fight Club thing.

The director is from a far away land where maybe he didn’t get out and see the Matrix (not bloodly likely) or Fight Club, but someone on that set should have pointed out that maybe just maybe the whole dweeb in the office becoming fucking badass with sarcastic voiceover building into middle management revenge fantasy has been done and been done better.

There’s a quick fix to this. Stay ahead of the game. Make a Matrix joke. Have James McAvoy call a coworker Tyler Durden. Just give me a wink. Tell me you’re not pretending like this was all original to you.

5. Lil harder then that. Cool bullets. Check. What about cool guns?

The movie is bookended with kills from an armchair in a studio apartment made from about ten miles away and we are just supposed to take it on good faith that this guy has magic aim. Give the guns some cred where cred is due, Timor. Guns are cool.

Wanted had the most beautifully sculpted, physics bending, enchanted bullets and yet the guns that launched them got less screen time then Terrance Stamp’s coffee cup. Hell they had a character, played by Common , named the Gunsmith, reeking of Q from the Bond series. I wanted more tricks, gadgets or at least a grooved barrell to help with the whole bending bullet space time aspect. Instead it seems that Common is just there to set up sides of beef to shoot around.

4.Hard for their parents. Kill the Girlfriend and Best Friend.

She’s cheating on him with his best friend ON THEIR (Totally not IKEA btw) KITCHEN TABLE and all we get is a smack from an ergonomic keyboard. Jame McAvoy suddenly becomes one of the dozen most dangerous people on Earth and he’s not going to put a bullet in the frat fruit big brother from Everwood (Yeah I knew that)? Bullshit. Bend those bullets straight up his ass.

3. Hard for some people. Editing.

This movie clocks in at an hour fifty but it feels like 2 and a half. Wanted easily could have lost twenty minutes and gotten to the splody parts and car chases sooner.

2. Major rewrites. The Loom of Fate.

My biggest laugh in the whole movie came from Morgan Freeman introducing a naive Jame McAvoy to the “Loom of Fate.” Now while this is an interesting and possibly cool way to decide who World Class coldblooded bad guys are going to kill, such a ridiculous object needs a little more fear. And fear requires a little more set up then a couple of lines referring to a weavers guild in the opening title sequence. That could have been about Betsy Ross for all we know. There was an incredibly missed opportunity for a religious / spiritual undertone to this whole movie. The Fraternity could have been more like of a cult of assassin/ believers. Making their devotion to the loom almost as scary as the Billy Bob sex stories Angelina tells Brad whens she feeling ignored.

1. Downright Impossible. Three letters H-B-O.

My biggest problem was that it seemed like they were trying to squeeze a entire trilogy into one movie. There were jumping from plot point to plot point like they were speed reading a 400 page script. There are characters and ideas, like the Doom Loom and the rat man, that seemed to get awkwardly rushed in and out of scenes like they were some ComicCon cameo contest winners.

But I could have stopped all of this the first time the script was handed in.  I would have had it re written into ten episodes of the greatest HBO show ever created. Sure we would have lost out on Jolie and Freeman but I’m sure we could have kept Common and Dignity.  And HBO would have had the heir to the Soprano throne.

Now while I know in the high power and moneyed world of Hollywood almost all of these are completely impossible, I’m begging you people, ask me first.


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