There was a lot of initial fan outrage that Timur Bekmambetov's movie version of Mark Millar's "If supervillains ruled the world" comic Wanted ditches the costumes, superpowers and even plot of its source material. But early reviews of the movie seem to suggest that the comic's biggest selling point - that it's a fun, dumb actioneer with pretentions to depth - still remains, but now has added gun porn, jokes and Matrix effects, to boot.
Over at Comic Book Resources, the official (or so it claims, anyway) first review of the movie starts by letting comic fans know what not to expect from the upcoming Angelina Jolie/James McAvoy movie:
For those familiar with Mark Millar and JG Jones' comic, you're going to see it very accurately reflected for about twenty minutes, before the film then goes on its own wild ride, though with a few snags and bulletholes from the original. It ditched the supervillains, it ditches the "bad guys won," it ditches the celebration of amorality of the lead. But for all the themes and dubious morality it ditches, it grows its own.
This is apparently what happens when the movie writers hadn't read the end of the comic before writing the script. Not that the movie seems to suffer from straying so far from what the faithful would've expected:
[W]hat's most gorgeous about "Wanted" is the tone. The language, the visuals, the effects, have their tongue so far in cheek it triggers the gag reflex (in a good way). The film spends huge amounts of money, time and effort telling basic jokes. But they're far funnier as a result and fuel this rollercoaster of a ride with an energy lacking in the dour Wachowski movies. This is an adult superhero comedy masquerading as an action flick. It's fresh, it's fast, it's funny and it's one hell of a surprise. It really sells the whole "mundanity vs madness" theme running through the film, from the cascading cereal packets to the bizarre camera-mounted handguns.
Over on British site Entertainment Wise, they're in agreement with some of the above, at least:
[T]here's a lot of fun to be had here - no shocks, but a lot of big bangs, blood spurting and some genuinely funny gags... Wanted is a great ride - bullets, babes, and tonnes of wish fulfilment for the frustrated male 9-to-fiver. However, it takes itself far too seriously, especially given its very silly script (again, we point you to the ‘shoot the fly' scene). Great fun for a Saturday night, or for a slow weeknight when it's out on DVD, but not the action movie reinvention that the brilliant trailers promised.
The movie gets released on June 27th, meaning that there are still 10 days for critics to announce that the movie glorifies violence and is a threat to society.