I'm not entirely sure why I wanted to see this film. I read the graphic novel a year or two ago and I thought it was horrible. It was a prime example of what happens when shallow uncultured boobs attempt to be "deep", "modern" or "controversial": you get a disgusting perverted retread of three-hundred-year-old philosophical theories that are none of those things.
Wanted the graphic novel is the story of a comic-book world where the super-villains have united and finally beaten the "good guys"--now they run the world just how they like it and no one can interfere in the slightest. The main character is the son of a super-powered assassin who can kill *anyone*, but he was taken away and hidden as a young boy by his mother. Fearing his potential power, his mother trained him never to fight back or stand up for himself, until in his early 20's he finds himself a hopeless basket case being shat upon by everyone and anyone.
Then this woman in tight red leather with guns shows up and his life completely changes . . . now he finds that he can do anything he wants and get away with it, as long as he accepts training as an assassin and enters a shadowy criminal underworld. So, okay, it's a coming of age story. Fair enough. The problem I had was with *what* he decided to do once he had his "Freedom". I'm sorry, shooting cops and raping celebrities? That's not macho, that's just pathetic.
In the movie, most of the background setting is changed, and the really disgusting elements are removed. Yes, he's still the son of a famous assassin . . . but his father belongs to an order of *assassins*, not super-villains. It's okay, the change was handled well and it gives no impression of just being "tacked on" . . . it is well-explained and developed. The protagonist comes across as an actual protagonist instead of an asshole punk on a power trip.
The main problem, I think, is with the narration. The early scenes in the movie in which you should be observing Wesley's lousy life and becoming sympathetic with him are narrated far too much instead of skillfully dramatized, so the emotional impact is nil. You don't care about him or his struggle for self-realization, so the rest of the movie just becomes a bunch of blood and explosions and special effects scenes.
Ending verdict: Movie 10,000% percent better than the graphic novel. Still mediocre.
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