Remember that movie a few years back called The Covenant? This movie is basically like that movie: a simple and relatively unimportant plot, really freakin awesome action, and an ending that makes you feel they're setting it up for a trilogy that might never come. Except this one has Hayden Christensen in it.

The basic movie is thus: 15 year old David (Max Thieriot) is all crushing on 15 year old Millie (AnnaSophia Robb). He gives her a snow globe as a gift, but a bully throws it out on the ice. When he goes out to get it, he breaks through and is about to drown when he suddenly teleports to safety. His home life sucks as his mom (Diane Lane) ran off when he was 5, and his dad (Michael Rooker) is a drunk. So he runs away and starts a life of independence and bank robbery. So 8 years pass and David (Hayden Christensen) is living the good life, but decides to make a trip back home. He meets up with his old crush, Millie (Rachel Bilson) and decides to take her on a trip to Rome. However, he also meets up with a Paladin, people who hunt Jumpers, named Roland (Sam Jackson), as well as a fellow Jumper named Griffin (Jamie Bell). Griffin informs David that Paladins will kill everybody he knows and then him and welcomes him to the war. Action ensues.

     Now, the premise is very cool, which made me super excited about the movie. However, besides the premise, all the movie has going for it is the action, unfortunately. As far as acting goes, it really isn't the best, especially with Hayden, who seems to be channeling his performance as Anakin. His voice-over at the beginning couldn't sound any more unenthused and dry. His acting in some of the scenes literally made an image of a piece of cardboard flash into my mind.

     As for Millie, I liked AnnaSophia's portrayal more than I did Rachel Bilson's. They should have just left them 15 years old and let the two 15 year olds play the part. It would have been much better. And David and Millie's first meeting after 8 years of being missing is bordering ridiculous. David's dad and even Millie's mom are all brought to tears because he's just been missing and presumed dead for 8 years. But Millie is just like "Hey, what's up?" like they had never been apart. Not to mention he shows up out of nowhere in 8 years, asks her to go to Rome after talking for about 10 minutes, and she accepts immediately.

     And Sam Jackson wasn't really in the movie a whole lot, to be honest (I mean, he had his fair share of scenes). But when he was, he said a lot of the same lines over and over again ("I'm from such-and-such government agency" and "Only God has the right to be everywhere at once!" and "He got away!").

     Oh, and Diane Lane's subplot was almost completely irrelevant unless they plan on using it for a sequel. She literally only has 2 scenes in the entire movie, and one of them only lasts about 15 seconds at most.

     The one character who did save the show, though, was Griffin. He was funny, witty, and a pretty neat character. Ironically, from what I've heard, he's the only character that's not from the original book (he was added just for the movie). The only thing I disliked about Griffin's character was that he seemed contradictory with himself. The whole beginning he's following Hayden around all stalker-like. But once they finally meet and he tells him about the Paladins, he no longer wants anything else to do with Hayden's character whatsoever and complains because Hayden won't leave him alone. It's almost like "what's the point, then?"

     But what was really cool was the action. The visual effects and just the action in general is worth seeing this movie, especially toward the climax. It's just super fun to watch. Unfortunately, a lot of things were left hanging and unanswered. You don't know what happens to a handful of characters. Everything is just left with you asking "...but what about...?" And the screenplay was co-written by the same guy who did Fight Club, which is interesting. Oh, and for those interested, the soundtrack was on-again-off-again with me. Sometimes it had some really cool orchestral stuff, other times it was rather forgettable... so it mirrored the movie nicely.

     So really, the only thing going for the movie is the action and such, which is insanely cool. If it weren't for that, it'd probably have gotten a lower rating from me, but the action itself is worth seeing the movie.

Reviewed by: Nick
12 Comment(s)
Shea said...
I think its a great concept... i didn't see it but as you are saying... a great concept doesnt make a great follow through.
Paul said...
Yeah...just seems like someone saw X2 and decided to make a movie out of Nightcrawler, and with Hayden Christianson no less. I haven't seen it yet, but I have very low expectations.
Nick said...
Paul: I would have thought that, too, had there not been a book it was based on.
Paul said...
Oh right on. I have this one, I'm sure I'll check it out at some point.
Shea said...
Oh you have that one Paul... downloaded into your eXistenZ ressurected Xbox?
Adam said...
I know we're all about having open minds and experiencing new things here at unheralded, but there's just some movies that I'll never care to check out. No matter what anyone says to me, I'd have no reason to see "Jumper."

Call me crazy, but "Wanted" might as well be "Jumper." They're both two films that I couldn't care less about - they seem completely generic and derivative to me.

And yeah, great concepts are just that - concepts. They're not stories. And just because there's a book about something doesn't mean it's good - the book could suck just as bad, haha - with or without Hayden Christensen.
I actually just saw this last night. I was actually shocked at Hayden... I was expecting him to make at least 4 or 5 whiny references to "my powers" aka Anakin, but I felt like he's matured a bit as an actor... Now don't get me wrong he's still a 2 star actor no doubt about it, but he didn't annoy me nearly as much in this film as he did in Star Wars.

There was some sweet action, but when the credits rolled it left me with... "that's it?" Just didn't seem very well thought out...
Nick said...
Adam: About your book comment... I agree. I didn't mean that something is good just because it is based on a book. Though I also heard they totally chopped up the book in making this movie... and like I said in the review, 'Griffin' was the best character in the movie, and he wasn't even in the book.

Though in response to Wanted... I can't WAIT to see that movie. Forget story, it just looks like fun action and other visuals. Though you never know... a story could sneak itself in there that hasn't been shown via trailers (though I doubt it).
Adam said...
Yeah, Nick - I wasn't saying that you inferred the book was good etc - just throwing it out there.

As for "Wanted" - I dunno, I saw "Shoot 'Em Up" and that fulfilled my need for completely dumb, video game action movies haha, so everything else seems pointless.

I hate that now that comic books are back in the mainstream, that apparently we've got to have a movie of every single graphic novel ever produced... ugh.

Let's go ahead and do an Archie Comics movie, with Jason Biggs and Sean William Scott - that'll be great.
Shea said...
I just finished the Wanted comic book a night or two ago. Will be posting the review probably tomorrow. I have a lot to say about it... especially since it has been brought up.
I agree with you on this one, great premise, cool action and directing, plot holes galore and terrible acting. This might have been great with a better lead man and a little more attention to detail in the screenplay.
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