I really enjoyed the movie and smiled like an idiot most of the time. But although it's about finding what you're really good at and not caring about what others think, I forced myself to display a neutral face when leaving the movie theater. After all, sleeping in my own bed is much more fun than spending the night in a mental institution.
Plenty of spoilers ahead as well as some "bad" language. So consider yourself warned.
The bad thing about the movie is that I already read the graphic novel (GN) twice. So some disappointment was unavoidable, just like when reading a book and then watching the movie (after all, comics are books too).
The main story is the same. It's about a loser wasting his life in a cubicle, being verbally abused by his boss and too dazed and confused to stand up for anything. One day he's being recruited by a criminal network (the Fraternity) who tell him that his father was one of them and that his own assassin training is about to start.
Compared to the GN, the movie's story is completely different and much simpler. It's also quite tame. While the GN is absolutely fucked up, the movie is simply crazy. But they managed to keep the coolness factor high. Having Mark Millar and JG Jones, respectively writer and artist of the original GN, participate in the creation of the movie was definitely the right decision.
Now for a few random observations:
- based on the GN, Halle Berry would have been perfect for the role of the Fox. But Angelina Jolie brought just the necessary mix of arrogance and coolness.
- Terence Stamp plays a mostly good guy who's involved with a criminal organization. Just like his role as Stick in the (absolutely terrible) Elektra movie.
- and finally for the stapler: there's absolutely no doubt in my mind that Wesley's boss is the female management version of Milton. But I think Milton's red stapler was bigger.
I'd say the Fraternity tried to make it look like it was about recruiting and training as part of a succession plan, but it was really about (permanently) terminating an unwanted employee.