Based on Mark Millar's uncompromising graphic novel and directed by Russia's most influential modern day filmmaker, Timur Bekmambetov (Nightwatch series), Wanted tells the story of Wesley Gibson rising above a apathetic life and into the dangerous underworld of assassins, fate, and justice. He follows a dark trail of discovery as he unlocks the keys to his past and hunts down the man who murdered his father, the greatest assassin in the world.

My initial concern for the movie was the dramatic departure from its source material. Instead of super villains hunting down superheroes, we are now rooting for a secret league of assassins with the conviction of maintaining world order. Although I have many complaints about the story, when comparing it to the graphic novel, the screenwriters have miraculously kept the soul of Wanted alive. All the little things that make the comic different and successful can be found within the movie despite the dramatic plot shifts.

The actual drive of the story was pretty lame. Not to give away any of the twists, (if you can call them twists) the Fraternity uses "the loom of fate" to determine their next target. Although the mystical concept of the "loom" may seem interesting, the movie loses a bit of credibility at this point. The random weavings of binary code that translate into a name, which interprets a kill, that when accomplished maintains order to the world, is the sole purpose of the magic loom. This is a bit over the top, especially when the twists and turns in the final act pan into nothing more than a pointless and abrupt exclamation mark. You are left feeling unsatisfied and scratching your head. (I am not talking about the last few seconds of the movie but the final standoff.)

My only other major issue with the film involves a ridiculous sequence with rats. For those of you who have seen the movie you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. I can suspend my disbelief for flipping cars, skyscraper leaps, and the invincibility of an action star, but a garbage truck of explosive rats is where I draw the line.

Technically speaking the movie is awesome. The world of Wanted is rich with texture and excitement. Fast cuts and jaw dropping slow motion, the movie is an exciting roller coaster ride of explosions, car jumps, and head shots. I raise my glass to the sound design team as their audio work stands out with the best.

James McAvoy was perfect for the transition between dying apathy and assassin superstar. The pulsing forehead vein and sloppy slobber of McAvoy's facial expressions added certain intensity to his character and scenes. His passing through the gunfights was more like a ballet than a frantic trigger pulling shootout.

The bullet curving was a lot better than I expect but I definitely got a little tired of the rounds smacking into each other in mid air.

Wesley's initiations into the underworld carried some of the more grueling and intense moments of the film. From getting the crap beat out of him everyday, healing pools, a corpse shooting range, knife fights, and subway roof runs, the training sequences were full of laughs, winces, and the spirit of overcoming.

As an action movie, I would say Wanted is definitely above average, but unfortunately because of its faults the film will only be remembered as a Friday night "something to do."

Reviewed by: shea
9 Comment(s)
I have to disagree about the loom of fate and the final standoff being lame. I thought the loom of fate was brilliant and the final standoff with him going through the factory and shooting and stealing others' guns was one of the coolest sequences in the movie. And the rats was interesting, as well.

But I agree with everything else, and I gave it a higher score.
Paul said...
In regards to the "loom of fate", I thought it was a clever idea, I went with it, however it was never explained. I would have bought it had there been given some kind of explanation, but there was none.

Also, no explanation to "curving bullets" aside from just swinging your arm when you fire? WTT?

I did like the last sequence of going through the factory.

Good, above average, but nothing special.
Shea said...
Going thru the factory was tight... loved it. Hated the rats and i hated THE FINAL STANDOFF... you know the one... in the circle... looked cool but i thought it was stupid what Fox did. I dont want to spoil anything...but why?
Nick said...
OH, that. Yeah, it was... interesting. Though (alluded spoiler warning) she was trying to uphold the loom's decisions. Remember, kill one, save a thousand (which she takes very personally after what that killer/rapist or whoever did to her and her family). I'm assuming she left him alive to go after Sloan (and she had a pseudo-thing for him).
Dr. Squib said...
Shea, I appreciate the post on this one. I have been toying with actually going to see it. I have a job for you. Put Dogs of War on your Net Flix que, and give it a review. I watched it not expecting much, and as I was watching it I really did not see anything utterly notable, but I found myself really liking it in my thoughts of it in the days after the movie. I like how it builded and ended. Just currious to see what you think. I may be totally off base with this one because I watched it as I was moving into my new place getting ready for the new job.
Dr. Squib said...
builded (pretty bad grammer coming from a Dr.....Ha).....Built
This is why I love you guys. I was not expecting anything from this movie. I was probably going to watch it about the same time I picked up Hitman (ie neverevereverinmylongleggedlife), but now I'm intrigued. I definately won't go in expecting the Matrix, but at least now I will check it out.

Growing fan of McAvoy...
Paul said...
Hah...Chris I would have waited ;-)
martha said...
i know it was cheesy, but i loved it. and james mcavoy just jumped like 15 notches for me. i know the other roles he's played have been more... err... intellectual? but the fact that he was able to carry this film so well (scene in the factory you guys keep talking about... breathtaking) speaks volumes for me.

i'm not saying it was a brilliant film or anything... but damn i loved it.