Compare & Contrast: Wanted

Wanted (Comics) | Wanted (Film)
8.5 of 10 | 8.1 of 10
Writer: Mark Millar | Starring: James McAvoy
llustrator: JG Jones | Starring: Angelina Jolie

Wanted is probably one of the mature books that got me back into comics. But when I saw the trailer of its movie adaptation during a film preview, I almost regurgitated. I knew that the film isn't going to be faithful to the comics. Thus, logically, I wanted to avoid it. Though I couldn't stop pondering as to how they're going to manage the comic-to-film adaptation. So I gave in to my curiosity and watched the movie.

Mr. Gibson being harassed by his boss.

As it turns out, it was a bagful of fun. The film will put your adrenal glands into overdrive. All the action sequences, especially the gun fights, are exceptionally well done and downright entertaining. However, since I've read the comics prior to the movie, I couldn't help but feel disappointed. Not because they excluded the costumed super-villains, or how they tweaked the story. But because the whole grit of the film was diluted.

At first, however, the key scenes and backgrounds from the comics are all present in the movie. It shows us an ordinary Wesley Gibson, a white collar worker, who is in a bad situation. His boss is nagging him all the time, his best friend is fucking his girlfriend, and he's loaded with stress related issues. But all is about to change when The Fraternity came to visit him, told him that his father is dead, and that he is the heir to his substantial amount of wealth and position within their organization.

"Shoot the flies" scene (also in the movie). The initiation of Wesley into The Fraternity.

The movie turned a bit sour on me during the introduction of The Fraternity. In the comics, The Fraternity is a conglomeration of costumed super-criminals that wiped out all the super-heroes back in 1986 and secretly controls the world. They can do anything they want without any fear of reprisals, making them very dangerous and evil. But in the movie, The Fraternity is reduced into a millennium old, brotherhood of assassins, who take orders from a loom. Nonetheless, I can still suffer that -not having powerful and "evil to the core" villains.

But what really ticked me off was how they ousted the self-indulgent violence, in which Wesley inflicts in the comics. In the film, Wesley trains in a slaughterhouse. But, in the comics, he's there to desensitize his inhibition to kill by slaughtering thousands of livestock, not to learn knife-fighting. After his training, he goes on a crime spree. He started shooting random people, then killing everyone that pissed him off (like his best friend), and even raping a popular celebrity. He had done all this terrible things but, with the help of The Fraternity, got away with all of it. Sadly, none of these things happened in the film.

James McAvoy, the less violent film version of Wesley Gibson.

Those are the few roots of my disappointment. I could still add one more but not without spoiling the movie. I don't know why they rearranged some things in the movie. Did they eschew the costumed criminal members of The Fraternity to make the film un-campy? Did they water down the violence and hoped that they'll get a rating even lower than R? Whatever their reasons are, it has left me dissatisfied. I still recommend the film though, especially to those who hasn't read the comics. Heck, I'll even recommend it to the fans of the comics but only if they can part with their costumed super-villains and the violence.


shurikenstuff said...

Whoa, is the comic version more fun than the movie? I dont read comics but I like the Movie(esp Morgan Freeman's "Oh F***" script at the end)...Xlinks? sure, it would be cool for fans to unite...already added urs

Skron said...

Well, in its entirety, I don't know if you'll like the comics since you've watched the movie already. But If you read it, I'm sure you'll agree with me that The Fraternity and Wesley needs to be more bad-ass than their more honorable movie counter-parts.

Thanks, I'll add you too.

Reymundo said...

nice review pre...
pwede ko ka post reviews & some articles mo sa film site ko...
para may other writers naman
can i put ur full name there?

thanks thanks!!!
(nde ko kabalo mg send msg, so dri kko nlang nag-msg sa comments)

btw, migo mo shao ari d ga tumbo sa kalipay sang weekend coz he passed d nursing board na