Boiling Point: In Name Only

Angelina Jolie in Wanted

Hollywood has a long tradition of stealing adapting ideas from other sources into films. Clearly, there is no indication that this process is slowing down, with comics, books, plays, and even record albums being turned into movies. Now, on a good day, you’ll get a faithful adaptation. The Lord of the Rings is a pretty good example or Harry Potter – while the may not be note perfect, they come close. Then you get your Jurassic Park which is a great movie, but moved a little bit away from the book. Not too much, mind you, but enough to annoy some fans just a touch. And then you get the “In Name Only” adaptations. So far gone from their source that you’re not even sure why the flick is called what it is. Name sounded cool, I guess.

I bring this up because of the upcoming Wanted adaptation. Since this is boiling point and I am a rageaholic, addicted to ragahol, this film goes in the latter category – In Name Only. Now, there are a few similarities on the books – there is a kid who is thrust into a bigger world, a sultry woman, guns, assassins, shooting things. Spoilers ahead for those of you unfamiliar with the graphic novel. In Wanted, it’s sort of an alternate DC universe where the villains have won. Game over, man. They joined together and beat the heroes, and using a variety of their powers, magical abilities, and all that jazz, they’ve convinced the heroes that are still alive that they never even existed. They were never heroes! They were actors or delusional, but definitely not heroes. Thus we get a world of super-villains who get to create a little havoc amongst themselves.

The movie, eh, not so much. League of Assassins, fates, yatta yatta, no costumes, no super villains, no ex-heroes. Kind of a bummer. It’s sort of like if you made Jurassic Park but instead of dinosaurs they were, I don’t know, moderately large apes like Congo. And we all know how much Congo sucked.

So what the hell is up with this bull? I mean, I don’t care if you make a league of assassins movie, just call it, you know, League of Assassins. If you make a Wanted movie it should be about super-villains. Changing the main thrust of the source doesn’t equal an adaptation, it equals title theft. It just gets annoying, I want to see adaptations of the stuff I liked. It’s like remaking or reimagining it before you even filmed it the first time. They managed to somehow skip actually making the movie and jumped right to the remake. Damn it.

So maybe it’s just, maybe I’m the only one who cares, maybe no one gives two shakes about a few plot points thrown away here or there, but I’ll be damned if I shout it from the rooftops that it’s good practice to mince and chop the source material and make your own shit. If it’s good enough to be made into a movie, it’s good enough to be made into a movie! I’m past my boiling point fo’ sho’ but I’m wondering – what other films get you riled like this?

Sound Off: What other adaptations have needlessly changed major plot points?

Robert Fure is many things: horror expert, ruggedly handsome man of the world, witty prose composer, and writer of his own biography page. Beneath the bravado is a scared little boy, ready to grow into an awesome man and make lies about a scared little boy inside of him. Wait a minute...

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