Wanted was directed by Timur Bekmambetov who is the Russian-Kazakh director known for the visually impressive movies Night Watch and it’s sequel Day Watch. I wasn’t a fan of either of those movies and the movie trailers for Wanted looked a bit silly. However, once I started reading some early screening reviews and hearing fan boys of the graphic comic book it is based upon talk up the story, I decided I needed to see it. Good decision because it was a nice little eye-candy treat.
Wanted stars James McAvoy, Angelina Jolie, Morgan Freeman, Terence Stamp, and Common. The plot involves an average joe kind of guy who thinks he is prone to panic attacks and knows he is dying in the routine of office work and his personal relationships; such as his girlfriend that is having sex with his best friend. Well, it turns out he is the offspring of an assassin and the panic attacks are really some of his adrenaline fueled special abilities. This is all discovered when he is recruited into The Fraternity, the group of assassins changing the world based off of their fate decided murders of people around the globe. A rogue assassin, however, is now killing them off one by one and the James McAvoy character is told his father was killed by this rogue and that it is time for him to step up and face destiny as a member of The Fraternity. Not a hard decision for him to make, joining their team, with a gun being put to his head often and his regular life being so dismal.
This is a movie meant to be seen on a big screen with full throttle sound. Many people have been exclaiming that the action reminds them of how The Matrix came out and was cutting edge. I would not go as far to say that, but will agree that the CGI heavy action provides for many fun visuals. My statement involving the big screen is based on prior experience with CGI laden films and how CGI just looks sillier on smaller screens.
Everything about Wanted is “cool.” If I were going to make a comparison to other flicks I would say it is not just a mindless action movie in the style of The Transporter meets The Matrix, but with more intelligent narration ala Fight Club mixed in. It has a lot of quirky humor and a strong message involving individuals and grasping destiny or making dreams happen ala wake up and smell the roses. There was one stupid and magical aspect of things involving how the assassination targets are picked from a weaving loom, but other than that everything was handled very well and fully entertaining.
Most any viewer, even those who cover their eyes during some of the bloody scenes, should enjoy it. The ending started to look like it was going to be a cop-out set up for a sequel, but then the story ends on a powerful and full-circle note of grand, violent humor and satisfactorily conclusive.
Yes, Angelina Jolie is looking lean and sexy and there is a scene where her character steps out of a bath of healing wax-water butt naked.