Thanks for checking out our Wanted review. Unfortunately we don’t have a video version of the Wanted review, but we will discuss it in an upcoming podcast. For now, here’s our written review.
From the first moment that I heard about this flick I was interested… and then after I saw the first trailer a few months back I was completely stoked for it. Not many people have been giving Wanted much love, but I said that it, along with the Hulk (which most people were also saying was going to totally suck) would be the 2 surprise films of the summer (in the sense of quality, not box office… because let’s face it, no matter how good Wanted turns out, it’s going to get totally bitch slapped around at the box office by that little Pixar robot Wall-e). Well, the Hulk did indeed end up surprising a lot of people and turned out to be a pretty good flick. So did Wanted also live up to that? HELL YES!!!!!
THE GENERAL IDEA
The synopsis for Wanted looks something like this: “Based upon Mark Millar’s explosive graphic novel series and helmed by stunning visualist director Timur Bekmambetov — creator of the most successful Russian film franchise in history, the ‘Night Watch’ series — ‘Wanted’ tells the tale of one apathetic nobody’s transformation into an unparalleled enforcer of justice. In 2008, the world will be introduced to a hero for a new generation: Wesley Gibson.
25-year-old Wes (James McAvoy) was the most disaffected, cube-dwelling drone the planet had ever known. His boss chewed him out hourly, his girlfriend ignored him routinely and his life plodded on interminably. Everyone was certain this disengaged slacker would amount to nothing. There was little else for Wes to do but wile away the days and die in his slow, clock-punching rut. Until he met a woman named Fox (Angelina Jolie). After his estranged father is murdered, the deadly sexy Fox recruits Wes into the Fraternity, a secret society that trains Wes to avenge his dad’s death by unlocking his dormant powers. As she teaches him how to develop lightning-quick reflexes and phenomenal agility, Wes discovers this team lives by an ancient, unbreakable code”
First and foremost is the performance of James McAvoy was just fantastic. His character, Wesley, goes through a major transformation… a cheesy one… and yet McAvoy pulls it off in such a way that it not only DOESN’T come off as cheesy, but hilarious and believable at the same time. Going into the movie I thought one of the elements I was going to have a hard time with was buying McAvoy as an action star… well screw that because he pulls it off with no problems whatsoever. Jolie may get all the sexy shots in the trailers, but make no mistake about it, James McAvoy carries this film.
The underlying mythology of the movie regarding the history of this secret society of assassins called “The Fraternity” and how they get their instructions for who to kill was awesome. **MINOR SPOILER** you learn in the film that the ancient order of assassins was first formed by a group of weavers 1000 years ago. These weavers actually learned how to interpret secret messages from “fate” in the threads of fabric. The threads spell out who the Fraternity must kill in order to make the world a safer place. It sounds silly on the surface… but trust me, it totally works **END OF MINOR SPOILER**
This movie promises action in the marketing… and it delivers! There’s not just a lot of action… the action in the film is all top notch. The set pieces are carried out on a grand scale (wait till you see the train scene), the gun fights are cheer worthy and throughout the movie there a little “moments” of action. You know what I mean… not full out action scenes, but regular scenes with an element of action thrown in. It was all great, I loved it.
The visual effects were surprisingly good and always seemed to fit right in with what was going on. There were one or two spots where I thought to myself “THAT was clearly fake”, but other than that, it seemed to work.
Oh, and as a side note, I also laughed a lot in the movie. There are at least 6 or 7 moments in the movie that I laughed out loud.
The story in the movie is a solid one too. With a summer brainless action flick I sort of expected it to be… well… brainless. However, the plot is great… a compelling antagonist… a good little twist or two… it all just comes together well.
Ok, I’ll say this much. Some of the action sequences are so over the top that once or twice in the movie it pulls you out of the film. That’s about all I can come up with.
I just frigging LOVED this movie… much more than I was expecting. The action is terrific, McAvoy carries the film, Angelina Jolie is hot, seductive and pure deadly, it’s funny, great mythology and a good solid plot to boot. Aside from Iron Man this may be my favorite film of the summer so far. Overall I give Wanted a 9 out of 10