Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Wanted: Snuff porn and women-hatin' in a two hour package

You know, I really regret not walking out of Wanted and asking for my money back. I also really regret not expressing how much I hated this movie to the male friends I saw it with.

Wanted was about as close as you can get to snuff porn without actually watching something illegal. The movie's only redeemable quality is that the script decided to throw in some existential fate plot themes at the end, just to break up the monotony of violent garbage.

The camera angles made me nauseous. Fight scenes, which were the entirety of the movie, were shot in such a shaky manner that I felt like I had eaten twenty pounds of nachos and then rode state fair rides for three hours straight. Then they were slowed down, randomly, so that the audience could get a good look at the blood and bruises. Know what is the only thing more exciting than two hours of violence? Two hours of slow-motion violence. Oh yeah!

Not only did the movie glorify violence, the protagonist's goal of using such violence is to "be the man". Several times in the story, the protagonist fervently wishes for someone to utter the exact words, "you are the man!" When someone does, it is only in recognition of his violent ways and hot love interest. In case you did not catch that, violence is exciting! Killing people on command, emotionlessly, is the definition of manhood! Where's the moral of the story? When I could find one, it was that the purpose of life is to be as much of a badass violent jerk as possible. Because that's exciting, whereas being a normal citizen is pathetic.

So besides the glorification of violence, what else did Wanted have to offer? The million dollar question, my dear readers, is the hatred of women.

Although there are a slew of men in the film (duh, it's an action film), there are only three women. Let's go over their roles.

1. Janice the fat boss - Janice was the bitchy boss that everyone in the audience should love to hate. Her shrill relentless tone and overly made-up face is supposed to be as comical as her girth. Women in power are fat and annoying, or so the writers of Wanted think. Our protagonist gets his comeuppance by telling her to stop being a bitch (seriously, that's the exact word he uses) and expresses some sort of vague pity for her grotesque fatness, which is apparently the reason why she could be such a horrible person to him.

2. Cathy the ex-girlfriend - Cathy is skinny, but she's also a whore. She sleeps with his best-friend, because that's what women do, you know. Them women always take advantage of teh menz. The only interaction she seems to have with the protagonist is to nag and complain. Then the movie switches to a completely unnecessary sex scene where the audience gets their fill. Because Cathy is skinny, she gets to be fucked. But she's still portrayed as a bitch, and a whore.

3. Fox the assassin - Jolie could have potentially played an empowered female role. Little to my surprise, nothing is further than the truth. I should have known as soon as her code name was revealed as "Fox". Jolie's only purpose in this film is to teach Wesley how to be bad ass, inspire him to magically curve a bullet with his awesome chauvinist powers to avoid hitting her, be the victim of a violent crime as a child to inspire her to kill people, show her bare ass for no apparent reason, make out with him in front of his ex to show that bitch how manly Wesley is, and then kill herself in the process of saving him.

What have I learned from Wanted? Well, I learned that if you're fat and a woman, you're a horrible bitch. I learned that if you are skinny and a woman, you're a horrible nag and a whore. I learned that if you are skinny, powerful, and a woman, you're a pornorific plot device who gets to play second fiddle to someone with less experience than you, have the honor of having sex (or at least appearing to) with the male protagonist, and then kill yourself for him.

I also learned that gratuitous violence is really really awesome if it is accompanied by horrible camera techniques, pointless slow-motion, and a complete void of morality.

Wanted looks and feels like a teenage porn addict and gun enthusiast's wet dream. If I did not know better, I would have thought that it was satire. Of course, the only thing sadder than someone out there thought that this could possibly be a good movie is that seemingly everyone thinks it was a good movie.

1 comment:

L said...

Awesome post. I saw this with a feminist woman friend and my male ally-ish partner, and my friend, after telling me she wanted to puke as a result of the movie, compared it to Fight Club, which, considering its portrayal of women, is a really interesting and accurate comparison. Action movies, by definition, hate women.