Movie Review: Wanted (2008)

General note to all before reading this movie review: if you can’t leave your reasoning and common sense behind, stop reading – Wanted is not for you. For everyone else, continue reading – an entertainment guarantee awaits.

Wanted is the story of a young account manager named Wesley Gibson (James McAvoy) who is suffering from general anxiety disorder and works for a fat bitch of a boss in a dead end job. He lives with a half cute girlfriend who would much rather bang his best friend than him. He’s basically a loser. But just when I was nearly lulled to sleep, the movie immediately morphed into fantastic gun battles (think Shoot ‘Em Up) and car chases, both filled with crazy visuals. Russian director Timur Bekmambetov (directing his first Hollywood feature) clearly adapted this comic book miniseries of the same name for those who thrive on action and brutality.

The mayhem starts innocently enough when Wesley visits the local pharmacy for a prescription refill, and ends in the middle of a gunfight between a rogue assassin Cross (Thomas Kretschmann) and a rather sultry anorexic chick named Fox (Angelina Jolie). He soon finds he is a recruit to join an ancient fraternity of assassins, of which Sloan (Morgan Freeman) leads and has (Gunsmith (Common), The Repairman (Marc Warren), The Butcher (Dato Bakhtadze), Jolie and others as members. He learns he has the ability to defy nearly every physical law known to man in such ridiculous ways that it’s hard to not just stop, smile and think fondly of The Matrix. But where that movie focused more on the beauty of the core ability, Wanted ramps it up and dirties it with lots of blood and lots of pain. It is a nice addition.

James McAvoy makes a strong showing with his first crack at the action hero role – he’s noticeably stronger and can maintain the furrowed brow, i.e., the troubled/intense look, with the best of them. Angelina Jolie also impresses in her role as his “motherly” fellow assassin as she zips and pouts through the streets of Chicago in a sheer white cotton dress or figure fitting leather. My only concern was how someone, as anorexic looking as she is, could actually hold and shoot one of those handheld cannons without getting compound fractures in her thin bones. Blanks or no blanks, those guns have a lot of kick! Morgan Freeman does what Morgan Freeman does best. He once again takes on his soft spoken fatherly role, although the character of Sloan has a much meaner streak running through him.

However, even though belief has to be suspended, Wanted suffers greatly due to plot holes galore. Since the movie is supposed to be based in the here and now, there are a few glaring questions that need to be answered. Where are the repercussions for beating the shit out of someone in the office? Doesn’t anyone realize or care that Wesley has fallen off of the face of the earth (surely the IRS would want to speak to him when he gets a sizable donation deposited into his savings account)? There are others, but I think you get the idea. Bekmambetov tries to compensate for these omissions by feeding us a steady diet of action sprinkled with Jolie’s naked derrià¨re and some near nip-slips. It almost works.

All in all, Wanted is an entertaining spectacle nearly from the get go and does not let go until the credits stop rolling. It’s super violent – more slow motion blood and guts scenes than necessary – but the fact that it is well executed makes it easy to get immersed into. Give it a once over, don’t expect the world, and simply see it as a good way to escape from the daily grind.

Critical Movie Critic Rating:
4 Star Rating: Good


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'Movie Review: Wanted (2008)' have 7 comments

  1. The Critical Movie Critics

    July 1, 2008 @ 6:45 pm Brad

    Got to agree with your thoughts on Jolie. She looks rancid. She must be marvelous with those lips, cos there ain’t nothing else worth a damn there anymore..

  2. The Critical Movie Critics

    July 17, 2008 @ 10:09 am Lloyd786

    three words for the hidden meanin of this film ‘join the army’

  3. The Critical Movie Critics

    July 30, 2008 @ 9:36 pm ShizzleManizzle

    this movie is so freaking awesome i would say best movie of 2008 it beats hancock easily because there’s so much action that u cant stop to watch! You have to watch this movie its just awesome!

  4. The Critical Movie Critics

    August 31, 2008 @ 1:04 am ryojiaiwo

    I actually thought this movie, quite, well, loose, as with all other movies of late. Tying this in with “big” summer block busters was a waste of useless energy. While the movie did have ass kicking stunts and was all in all not so bad as some of the ones that i have seen this year. This by far tops them all in a weak plot. To even think that someone actually liked it makes me sick. One mention that the Loom of Fate is what tells them to kill and the system that they used is how they find the names is right about when i started going “sure what can i sneak into next?” all in all i thought the movie was 4 stinking piles of dogshit not the increadible two that someone thought to give it. seen better and won’t waste my time on even one second thought or showing of this movie.

  5. The Critical Movie Critics

    October 20, 2008 @ 2:29 am marius

    i saw the movie last night and all I can say is: I want my 2 hours back! I’d rather watch a Steven Seagal movie than this s&&t!
    Painful experience for me!

  6. The Critical Movie Critics

    July 20, 2010 @ 7:03 pm wesley

    Thanks for the great movie review of Wanted. I watched the movie and thought it was pretty cool and Angelina Jolie looked hot as normal. I’m looking forward to reading more of your site in the future.

  7. The Critical Movie Critics

    July 29, 2010 @ 1:34 am Kemilatie

    Ok, WTF? The action was fun but weavers??? Mass suicide because the string told you to? I dont get it. It was so stupid and out there that it hurt my head. The action was good though and Angelina Jolie is always fine! The movie had Angelina Jolie and Morgan Freeman, how was the whole plot of the story so horrible?

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