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    Summer break is the perfect opportunity to get back into reading. Adam Silvera’s (2017) novel, They Both Die at the End, can serve as a stepping stone into the realm of reading. The pace is fast, action-packed, and develops loveable characters. Also, Silvera switches point of view each chapter where narration mainly focuses on the protagonists, […]
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Wanted’: the action flick you have always wanted to see

Ever since “The Matrix” captured the world with its revolutionary slow motion filming technology called Bullet Time, the sudden craze for the technique has infiltrated its way into nearly every summer blockbuster that has succeeded it. Used so many times, but with so little success, the art of slow motion storytelling has landed in a rut of overused monotony. “Wanted,” is the latest film to utilize this technology, but it hasn’t been since the original “Matrix” that a film has used it so effortlessly and stylistically.

Already carrying a background in the use and stylization of slow motion, Russian film director Timur Bekmambetov once again attacks the American film market with his signature of blatantly over-the-top action sequences. With successful venture in his aggressive film series including “Night Watch” and “Day Watch,” Timur’s films come at you more like the unexpected rush of a roller-coaster rather than the typical expectations of an action flick. Now, with the job of adapting the unique graphic novels that make up the story of “Wanted,” Bekmambetov shares with us his unique art form that some may call too aggressive.

The story of “Wanted” follows the secret lives of a fraternity of assassins whose traditions span back nearly a thousand years. Even with so much secrecy and tradition, one of their greatest assassins has mysteriously gone rogue to fight back against the group he was once a part of. As a fateful turn of events leads the group to the son of a recently assassinated member, their choice in a savior seems less than capable of even throwing a punch.

That savior is Wesley Gibson. Living his life as a meaningless office worker for a boss that he hates, Wesley is stuck in a rut of a pitiful life that is only extended as the days go by. It isn’t until he is approached by a mysterious woman named Fox (Angelina Jolie), who skillfully saves him from a convenience store shoot-out and a deadly car chase that she effortlessly maneuvers through by lying on the hood of a red Dodge Viper. Note the reluctance of Wesley when Fox tells him he can do the same things she can.

As if the over-the-top nature of the action sequences didn’t catch our attention the first time, the rest of the movie significantly ups the ante after every elongated scene of stylized mayhem. With cars flipping over moving busses, bullets bouncing off each other in mid air and characters that could make an army retreat for the hills, Wanted evokes a visual style that is unlike anything we’ve ever witnessed.

However, for a story about a covert group with ancient secrets, the attacks of the attention grabbing action sequences aren’t enough to cover up the minor flaws of predictability that plague this film. Still, with a prolific director working to extend true capabilities of original visual excitement, “Wanted” is one of the few films that can honestly claim a triumph of style over substance.

WANTED’

LETTER GRADE: B

RATED: R, for strong bloody violence throughout, pervasive language and some sexuality

RUNTIME: 110 minutes

STARRING: James McAvoy, Morgan Freeman, Angelina Jolie and Terence Stamp

DIRECTOR: Timur Bekmambetov

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