Wanted (2008)
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Review Date: August 11, 2008
Director: Timur Bekmambetov
Writer: Michael Brandt, Derek Haas, Chris Morgan
Producers: Jim Lemley, Jason Netter, Marc Platt, Iain Smith
James McAvoy as Wesley
Angelina Jolie as Fox
Morgan Freeman as Sloan
A disgruntled office worker is kidnapped by a group of superhuman underground assassins and told that he too is a man with greater powers than your average Joe, with the abilities to do crazy things like “bend” bullets when he shoots or ignore Angelina Jolie’s hotness as he gets trained by this organization to hone his killing skills. Once fully trained, the man is sent out to kill baddies and ultimately, to avenge the murder of his dear old dad (oh, his dad left his mom when he was 7 days old). Fun times ensue!
I love this fuckin’ movie! It’s summertime, people are out and about, looking for enjoyment in movie theaters, trying to get away from the hustle and shit of their own lives, and if you’re looking for an all-out action extravaganza that defines the word “escapism” in movies, WANTED is your cup o’ beer and then some! I enjoyed almost every aspect of this movie including its rapid pace (it only sticks around for a buck forty to boot), its fun and unique directing choices, its original and fantastical storyline, and its many very cool action and kill sequences. Before I go on though, it’s to note that this movie is about as over-the-top action as you can get, with plenty of MATRIX-y bullet-time sequences combined with action and gunplay throughout its runtime, so if you’re going in expecting it to follow the general laws of physics, gravity and all that “reality” stuff, this flick ain’t for you. This movie is for anyone looking to park their brains at the door, stuff some nachos down their parched throats and enjoy the shit out of the balletic mayhem orchestrated by director Timur Bekmambetov for the big screen.

The film actually starts off a little FIGHT CLUB-ish with James McAvoy doing his best Ed Norton impression from that movie. Things don’t take too long to get jazzed after that though, and once Angelina Jolie’s skinny ass enters the picture (you need to put on some pounds, girl…you still look hot, but the “boney look” ain’t ideal) and bullets start flying through people’s brains at an alarming rate, I was hunkered down in my seat with a shit-eatin’ grin on my pasty fat face until the film’s blazing finale. I also really enjoyed the film’s storyline, which despite being a little outlandish, sold me hook, line and sinker, and even tossed a couple of interesting twists into its outline. The film’s greatest assets were its pace and action though, both of which were switched to a very high gear all the way through. I can’t say that the thing with the “rats” was impressive, but other than that, the final sequence in which McAvoy sprints through a warehouse blasting ass, was a joy to behold. Heck, I’m signing myself up for any pre- or se-quel action that this franchise has to offer in the future today! Kudos to graphic novelists Mark Millar and J.G. Jones for coming up with this fun and electric idea in the first place and here’s hoping that they can create an ongoing cool environment in which these groovy characters can excel.

The film reminded me a little of JUMPER as well, although this one was tighter, featured more balls-out action and had an overall “funner” vibe to it. I also loved its rough soundtrack, as well as its ultra-violence, which is sprinkled throughout the movie, but if blood and killings ain’t part of your cinematic recipe for entertainment, you’re probably better off skipping this kinetic mofo and checking into something a little more “realistic” instead. But if you had fun watching films like CRANK and SHOOT ‘EM UP over the past couple of years, I see no reason why WANTED wouldn’t be added to your list of favorite cranked up shoot ‘em up movies. Yeah, that’s a corny final line for a review…but I like it.
(c) 2018 Berge Garabedian

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