Wanted Man Review: A Muddled Journey of Action and Betrayal

Wanted Man (2024).

Wanted Man, an action film helmed by the multi-talented Dolph Lundgren, promised a concoction of adrenaline-pumping sequences and a riveting narrative. Unfortunately, the film struggles to live up to its potential, stumbling along the way with a convoluted plot and uneven execution that leaves viewers yearning for more coherence and finesse.

The Bad:

The film’s premise, centered around a police officer named Johansen (played by Lundgren), tasked with retrieving an eyewitness, Rosa (Christina Villa), after a cartel shooting claims the lives of several DEA agents, seemed promising. The initial setup holds the audience’s attention, presenting a classic action film scenario. Lundgren, known for his iconic roles in action cinema, appeared poised to deliver a solid performance.

However, as the plot unfolds, the film’s narrative becomes increasingly tangled. The transition from a straightforward rescue mission to a complex web of conspiracy involving American forces muddies the waters. The screenplay, co-written by Lundgren and Michael Worth, struggles to strike a balance between providing necessary exposition and maintaining a coherent flow.

Dolph Lundgren, both starring and directing, brings his physical prowess to the screen in the action sequences. The fight choreography and stunts are commendable, showcasing Lundgren’s experience in the genre. However, the overreliance on action sometimes detracts from the plot, leaving the characters underdeveloped and the storyline fragmented.

The supporting cast, including Kelsey Grammer as Brynner, Michael Paré as Tinelli, and Roger Cross as Hernandez, delivers performances that vary in quality. Grammer’s portrayal of a mysterious figure adds an intriguing layer to the film, but the lack of depth in the supporting characters diminishes their impact on the overall narrative. The chemistry between Lundgren and Villa, crucial for the success of the film, falls short of expectations, leaving emotional moments feeling forced and artificial.

While the film attempts to explore themes of trust and betrayal within the context of government corruption, the execution falters. The script struggles to maintain a consistent tone, wavering between moments of intense action and feeble attempts at political intrigue. The dialogue, at times, comes across as clichéd, hindering the film’s ability to engage the audience on a deeper level.

The cinematography, while competent, does little to elevate the film beyond its formulaic action movie roots. The use of generic urban backdrops and dimly lit interiors contributes to a lack of visual distinction. The pacing, too, suffers from inconsistencies, with moments of intense action juxtaposed against slower scenes. It creates a jarring viewing experience.

One of the film’s big flaws is its failure to explore the ethical dilemmas faced by its characters. Instead, the film opts for a more simplistic approach, missing an opportunity to elevate itself beyond standard action fare.


Wanted Man falls short of expectations, presenting a promising setup that ultimately succumbs to a lack of narrative coherence. Dolph Lundgren’s dedication to the action genre is evident in the film’s intense sequences. However, the overall execution fails to deliver a memorable cinematic experience. While the film may find a niche audience among die-hard action fans, it struggles to stand out.

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Wanted Man Review: A Muddled Journey of Action and Betrayal
  • Acting - 5/10
  • Cinematography/Visual Effects - 5/10
  • Plot/Screenplay - 3/10
  • Setting/Theme - 3/10
  • Watchability - 3/10
  • Rewatchability - 2/10
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About Caillou Pettis

Caillou Pettis is a professional film critic and journalist as well as the author of While You Sleep, The Inspiring World of Horror: The Movies That Influenced Generations, and co-author of Out of Time: True Paranormal Encounters. He has been writing in the entertainment industry for over seven and a half years professionally. Throughout the years, he has written articles for publications including Gold Derby, Exclaim!, CBR, Awards Radar, Awards Watch, Flickering Myth, BRWC, Starburst Magazine, Punch Drunk Critics, Mediaversity Reviews, Vinyl Chapters, Northern Transmissions, and Beats Per Minute.