Text opens the movie, reading something about the Fraternity, a secret society of assassins that’s been around for a thousand years (exactly 1,000?). Then there’s a murder. Then we meet Wesley Gibson (James McAvoy), a young man who suffers through panic attacks and a 9-to-5 cubicle job.
,br> Then soon he’s picked up by the aptly named Fox (Angelina Jolie, just four months before her soon-to-be- Oscar-nominated turn in Changeling), a member of the Fraternity who knew Wesley’s father, who we saw take a bullet through the head in the first five minutes. Recruited by Fox and Sloan (Morgan Freeman), Wesley is put through a vigorous training montage, where he soon discovers he’s inherited his father’s knack for shooting the wings off flies.
And then it comes down to hunting Wesley’s father’s killer, a rival named Cross (Thomas Kretschmann). And this is when the movie hits full throttle. Revelations are made, trust is betrayed, and bullets whiz, as literally as possible, through the enemy.
Timur Bekmambetov, whose career up until this point has been based out of Russia, might be the next hot new action director. And why not? In Wanted, he makes the cars faster, the women (woman) sexier, the soundtrack louder, and the action itself more relentless.
But that doesn’t mean the movie’s good. Either does the R-rating, though most—myself included—would have to admit it makes Wanted a more tempting watch. But here also is a movie that not only lifts techniques from better action movies, but never tries to do anything all that special with them.
Does it matter? I think so. There’s only so many times you can watch a car corkscrew through the air or assassins maneuver bullets with a flick of the wrist. No? There’s not? Oh, well then enjoy.