Special Edition Podcast

Special Edition – Wanted

Show Notes

Running Time: 00:19:03

The comic book movie train rolls on in this, the summer of 2008, with Wanted, the big screen adaptation of Mark Millar and J.G. Jones’ controversial mini-series from Top Cow.

But, really, can we even call this an adaptation?  I don’t think I’m spoiling anything by telling you that the entire concept of the book has been jettisoned for the film — that much was apparent from the trailers, and the line “kill one, save a thousand” — and we are left with the barest of connective tissue between the comic and the film.

Of course, that never stopped comic book adaptations in the past. Such classics as The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and From Hell… uh oh.

Are you going to see it? Of course you… probably are! So let’s talk about it!

If you haven’t seen the movie yet be forewarned — there be SPOILERS ahoy! So don’t scroll down any further if you are sensitive to that kind of thing.



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  1. I’m going to see it tonight. Would rather see Wall-e but, whatever.

  2. No real desire to go see it.

  3. Haven’t read the GN, and have no desire whatsoever to go see this. Maybe it’ll be good, I dunno, but I’m guessing that James McAvoy in this kind of role won’t work. Of course, it’s a perfect fit for Angelina.

  4. I can’t stand wafer thin Angelina. NOT SEXY.

    Tomb Raider Angelina?  Sexy.

    Eat a sandwich.

  5. I’ve seen it. There are two things that I really liked about it:

    1. That McAvoy fellow is really quite good.

    2. Timur Bekmambetov still has the ability to surprise people. He’s a bit of a mad genius when it comes to action.

    It’s terribly flawed in a narrative sense, but it mostly keeps you distracted by making things crash into each other.  The third act is kind of a mess, as well. Thematically, it still has a passing resemblance to the comic, but it’s not something I really thought about inside the theater. Bekmambetov just throws too much stuff on screen.

    It was fun enough. Not something I’m raring to see again, but I thought it was worth the time.

  6. i don’t know, i think that Tattooed Angelina trumps Tomb Raider Angelina, but it’s all personal preference.

  7. Tomb Raider Angelina had tats too, just not ones you could see, plus she had the advantage of looking healthy.

    That said I did say "I can’t stand wafer thin Angelina"

    Look at the poster, she’s so weak with hunger she needs to support her arm with her knee to hold up the gun.  McAvoy has no problem holding two guns straight out! (he probably eats sandwiches)


  8. @CAM i will save my final judgement till i see the movie.

    @faithlessphil did you see Bekmambetov’s other movies? If so, did you think this was better then Night watch or Day watch?

  9. Yep I’ve seen them. I don’t think this is better than his previous films, though it’s probably the easiest to watch. Mostly because it’s shorter and tries to explain much less. Bekmambetov really stumbles when he has people standing around explaining things.

  10. Saw it twice at two different press screenings and had the pleasure of ruining Ron’s night last night with this one. Ill wait till all the votes are in to give details, but as a whole this movie is so much crap. I would’ve liked to have been a fly on the wall in the script meetings for this one because it goes so far off the map all you can do is sit there with your head in your hands.

  11. "This is the kind of hokery you’d expect from a story drawn from a graphic novel,"

    Quoted from the Toronto Star review which you can find here:


     And the review is mostly positive but the guy STILL manages to take a shot at the validity of comics as a medium.


  12. I enjoyed it. A lot. Low expectations; great rewards. And really, who cares if it follows the books or not/ Is there an avid Wanted fanboy sect out there?

    Also, Angelina does need to eat a sandwich, or two. But she’s still an amazingly pretty woman. That face, those eyes…just dont look at her scrawny, inked up arms. 

    This one ranks pretty high on this summer’s list so far. Below Iron Man (of course) but right up there with Hulk and Speed Racer, two other low expectaion flix I ended up enjoying.


  14. Enjoyed wasnt blown away by it in any sense of the word!

     Mcavoy cannot do an american accent though at least not in this film. It was what annoyed me the most out of the entire film. And the Bullet Swerving who the hell came up with that! They Should be fired. However their were parts i really enjoyed. The Meat Sheild a personal Favourite.

  15. Am I the only comic fan that enjoyed the From Hell movie?  I know plenty of non-comic fans who like it.  I think it’s a good movie that probably just should have been called something else because it doesn’t have much in common with the book.

  16. I was at a convention right after this movie was announced.  Mark Millar said he would use whatever influence he had to get a cameo for Adam West and Christopher Reeve (obviously this was befor he passed) then they decided they were only going to use the title.  I’m not going to see this in my own pathetic silent protest.

  17. Reasons I want to see it: Timur Bekmambetov is a director to watch, visually at least, but Nightwatch and Daywatch were ballsy films. James MacAvoy is almost always pitch perfect, and will be massive in a year or two.

    Reasons I don’t: I’m kind of bored of Angelina Jolie doing the icey bad-ass woman thing. I much prefer her in films like A Mighty Heart and Girl, Interrupted.

    Could go and see it this weekend, but instead we’re going to see Narnia (NOT my choice!). 

  18. i got free tickets the preview on wednesday from my comics dealer.


    it was okay. won’t buy it on dvd. it was a bit by the book, and seemed to be made up of elements i’ve already seen before. also, i thought the weaving thing and the loom of fate where a bit lame. 





  20. i saw the midnight show and i might have been sleep deprived but i thought the movie was pretty good.

    i give it a 7 on the hotness scale…

    it was fun, and changed a bit, but overall a good time




  21. i have said for a couple of years, since Civil war i think, that Mark Millar is the Micheal Bay of comic books. While Morrison and Moore are more like the Nolan or Bergman of comics.


    Both Bay and Millar like to thorw a lot of explosions and hot women in your face as a distraction from what is always a leaky plot and inexplicable happenings. And in the theater this is fine, I enjoyed watching both Transformers and Wanted while i was watching them but afterwards thinking about it, well, they are both absurd movies. Wether it’s expecting us to feel something for a character which had but two lines before being ripped in two, or a group of people who take orders from a loom, they both  ask the watcher to just accept things that don’t work. Why is everyone just fine with this whole fate thing? I assume that they have free will, futher more why does fate need other people to do it’s bidding? Fate should just work, I can’t control if i am fated to die or marry my mother and kill my father it is just going to happen, that’s what makes it fate, the ineveitable fact.  If something needs to act upon the world to make fate happen then it isn’t fate, it’s some guy making the world a certain way. Also the flim would have been better had Fight Club not come before it, because i constantly was thinking of it, and i am sorry but Fight club is a much stronger flim.  


    That being said, I liked the action, I thought what i will call sword fighting with bullets thing was a step forward for flim so that was cool. and after paging thought the graphic novel reading the first 75 pages or so, i felt it was at least kinda ture to the book.  


    for me this is a C grade flim. ( a A grade flim is something like There will be Blood or Batman Begins(high art), a B is like IRon Man or Speed Racer( good and fun), a C is Shot’em Up or well Wanted ( fun but not great), D is something i didn’t see, and F is something i wouldn’t even watch the trailer for. But The Happening is an F film that i did see. so there.  

  22. Maybe me being a champion of the comic is a big part of this, but I LOVED this movie and was so pumped after it.


    I feel like a moron because I can’t really defend it  – If you didn’t like it it’s not for you? Something like that. I LOVE the comic, and realize that I am probably in the minority simply because whatever the heck the comic is is something I like. Does that make sense? I am not making sense. It makes sense in my head. Sorry.

    I loved it though. So much. 🙁


    (Especially the early ATM scene)

  23. I’ll probably wait for this to come out on DVD and I’ll just add it to the Netflix queue, not motivated to shell out to see this at the theatre.

  24. @sgrsickness

    ATM scene?  Don’t they talk about those in Clerks 2?

  25. @CAM

     I feel like I’m missing out on a joke here or something. 

  26. I never read the book, but this flick was awesome!  Tons of action, some humor and great effects too!  And Jolie has never been hotter!  This was fun!

  27. I went with 4 of my friends to see it at the Studio Movie Grill and we all loved it . I have not had that much fun at the movies in about 9 years . I loved the Twists and the "Office" moments and "Matrix" stuff.   I just can’t see how anyone couldn’t like this movie.

  28. Wow! I knew that people who just wanted to see some cool stuff onscreen would love this movie.

    But, as a movie it never worked for me. Seeing it a second time (both for free, so don’t go giving me lectures about why I paid to see it a second time) I noticed even more the glaring plot holes and sheer ridiculousness of it all. I mean the Loom of Fate! C’mon!

    I could go into how this was not even remotely in the vicinity of the comic book, but I don’t think that was the point anyway. I think they could’ve made a good movie deconstructing popular superhero and supervillain archetypes using the core of Wanted. The idea of a guy who’s wasting away in a nothing life finding in a world ruled by supervillains, finds out his dad is the greatest supervillain of them all and that he could be too. There’s a lot just in that little description. None of it is in the movie. What we get instead is a collection of "cool" action setpieces, some ripped straight from the Matrix, (I mean did we really need the music video fast-slow scene of Mister X walking into the front door of the lobby?) and Angelina Jolie mugging for the camera most of the time she’s on screen. Nothing ever coheres into a real story and ultimately, I was left wondering, "Why?"

    OK, so this is a big, blockbuster summer movie. So, why am I hating on it so much. Because, with movies like Iron Man and the Incredible Hulk, movies that can take a simple premise and milk all the action and characterization out of it that they can (to varying degrees of success, but clearly working with more than WANTED), I expect more than pretty lights dancing in front of my eyes. And, with the Dark Knight looking to blow all of the previous top contenders out of the water and WALL-E being a near-perfect characterization without even talking, then, really? A Loom of Fate?

    Then again, just like the end of the comic book, this could all be a big F-U to the movie-going audience. This could be Mark Millar, through the onscreen Wesley Gibson, saying, "You idiots paid good money to see this crap! I win!" We were joking after the movie that it would’ve been more entertaining to have the last twenty minutes show Millar just counting his money and laughing at the camera. I think it would’ve made the movie make more sense, too.

  29. I did read the comic book when it first came out. It was something that is so different from what we read out there. Of course the ending of the story was really cool. It seems like a lot of you guys who doesn;t like the movie has to do with the movie is so different from the book. Some of you didn;t like it because you think they changed the tone of the movie to be more realistic and having a problem with everyone can curve the bullet. Some of you even say who came up with this crap. But in the book, Wesley is the one who has this kind of shooting ability, the movie just expanded it to the rest of the people. People expecting this movie suppose to be realistic, but the comic book itself kinda sound like that, but at the end, you realize it’s another fictional world. So I don’t understand why curving a bullet defy physic and stuff. Just have to realize that this is still a comic book movie.

    The story of the story is still true to the comic books. Wesley’s feeling he’s a nobody, his training to be in the society and be a really good killer, everyone in the movie are all bad people, his relationship with his father, how the league of bad guys can still form an organization without a lot of problems, and of course the ending of him telling us the viewer that we are pathetic are still in the movie, which the comic book has.

    People in my movie theater gave a huge applause after the movie was over. people were really enjoyed the movie. of course there are some flaws in the movie, but may be becuase i treated it as a comic book movie, so anything that is not necessary realistic i can give forgive some of that.

    however, wanted is really good, but this weekend it belongs to wall-e. that movie was really good, and they dont even have a lot fof dialogues in the movie. My top 3 for this summer right now is Wall-e, ironman, and wanted. hulk is a good movie, but it’s not up there. I’ll definitely buy those 3 movies when the dvds are out. 

  30. Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Media By Numbers LLC. Final figures will be released Monday.

    1. "WALL-E," $62.5 million.

    2. "Wanted," $51.1 million.

    3. "Get Smart," $20 million.

    4. "Kung Fu Panda," $11.7 million.

    5. "The Incredible Hulk," $9.2 million.

  31. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    It bothers me that people think C, D, and F level films are acceptable if they have a good action sequence.  You deserve better. 

  32. Wow, good numbers for Wanted. But I’m more surprised by Wall-E, I thought it’d open way bigger. Not that $62m isn’t huge, I just thought it’d do more.

  33. I just came back from the 2pm showing and the theatre was almost full.  Overall it exceeded my expectations.  I did have a problem with Jolie taking her own life though, I didn’t believe that the code of the fraternity meant so much to her. And the loom was a little out there.  But I enjoyed it.

  34. Haven’t seen this yet seeing as how it only comes out in South Africa in a couple of weeks but I’m willing to bet that this podcast is more entertaining more than the film. I should also mention that Mark Kermode, the fantastic BBC film critic who reviewed this in his podcast this week also picked up on the hillarious lameness of LOOOOMS so you’re not alone in thinking it’s funny.

  35. I had a minimal desire to see this movie, but I can say that after listening to the podcast I will not see it. I really respect yalls opinion and yall have never recomended something that sucked. So I guess what Im really trying to say is thanks alot Ifanboys for once again saving me money.

  36. Meh – I’ll catch it on DVD – maybe there will be entertaining extras thrown in. In the meantime I’ll buy a Fables trade.

    What surprises me is that no one has made the obvious joke – Fruit of the Loom of Fate!

  37. WOW was this terrible.  The three of you are absolutely right.  When i heard morgan freeman say "loom of fate" I was so caught off guard by the shear stupidity of the idea, that it broke my brain.  So many plot holes, so many stolen ideas from other movies (isnt the biggest twist, morgan freeman being bad, really just a rip off of the first mission impossible movie), so many dumb ideas (rats, LOOM OF FATE).  horribly bad.  

  38. chipmunk edition rules.

  39. I pretty much knew I had no interest in this film when i saw the trailer. Bekmambetov has a very unique voice as a director, but it’s just not one I’m interested in. not to say the man isn’t talented, but I just find his films a bit to much (yes I saw both Day and Night Watch, I didn’t enjoy either). 

  40. Ok, saw it. Bad film with good action. Which still equals – bad film.

    Screw the loom of fate, as awful as it was, Angelina scared me in this. Too thin, she looked ill. 

  41. Hmmmm.

    I liked it, I think that the action was innovative enough to overcome some of the plot problems, it reminded me of the Hong Kong action movies of John Woo, which I also loved.  Lots of bullets, lots of guns, and a couple of fun twists (within the action, not so much within the plot).

    I agree to a point with the Loom jokes, but really, is it all THAT ridiculous?  I mean, more ridiculous than a belief in an Arc of the Covenant that melts faces? The problem is that there is no justification or explanation AT ALL for the loom.  Where did it come from?  Why is it important?  Why should we trust it? We get one example of a "bad guy" who wasn’t assasinated and that’s it.  From that point on we are FORCED to suspend our disbelief, otherwise the movie just isn’t enjoyable.  And that’s too bad.

    Now, when I watched it I said "Loom? That’s fucking stupid. Let’s move on." and had a great time.

    And then?  Sandwiches.

    (oh and @sgrsickness, yeah your probably missing the joke, don’t worry about it, it wasn’t a good one.  See Clerks 2 and come back to me if you still don’t get it :))

  42. I haven’t seen the film, nor do I intend to as I thought Nightwatch and Daywatch were incomprehensible crap and thus expected this to be the same.  Anyway, I was a little dismayed, however, to hear the level of incredulity at the loom of fate concept.  Admittedly it is likely silly and pulled off horribly, but you guys are aware that’s a real thing, right?  I mean, not real in that it’s really available in a warehouse in Queens or something, but that it’s a real mythological concept.  The Greek Fates wove together people’s destinies in a loom, or at least in a tapestry.  It wasn’t a loom, so much, but the textile manufacturing imagery is inherent in the myth.


    Anyway, thanks for sparing me the fate of seeing this movie.  I shall have to skip it on the Netflix and wait for it to show up on the cable, assuming I still have pay channels when it trickles down that far.

  43. welp i thought it was ridiculously dumb. not very exciting and just kinda boring. not really impressed.

  44. I totally agree with you guys about this movie. I haven’t seen it, and I likely won’t after this.  Do they even explain how they are able to curve bullets or sweep people into a car by skidding to the side, right into them with the open door? Because neither of those things are possible unless they have powers like telekinesis that allow them to alter the laws of physics.

  45. The comic was so much better. And i didn’t even like it that much. I hate this film.

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