Wanted is a great action movie, with a decent plot, but it plays like a video game. In it, a young man, Wesley Gibson (James McAvoy), who’s a nobody with a dead end life (his boss is annoying, his best friend is stealing his girlfriend, and he’s got no money), finds himself recruited by The Fraternity to kill his recently murdered father’s killer. They give him money, a slightly better place to stay, and turn him into an assassin. Sounds good enough, right?
Screenwriters Michael Brandt, Derek Haas, and Chris Morgan had the right idea with the adaptation from the comic book series, but should have put more thought into the subplot, which I won’t ruin because it’s a climax. It seemed too much like an afterthought to be important to the film, but it is actually quite important and should have been written a little differently to tie into the story.
Another thing that bothered me is how director Timur Bekmambetov used the slow-down technique – so that everything is momentarily in slow motion – far too much. He used it for a lot of the action sequences, which I understand. But he also used it for pivotal scenes, which was annoying.
The premise is annoying as well: A thousand years ago, weavers created The Fraternity to combat bad guys. Why weavers? That sounds so hokey. Weavers, of all people. That’s like saying babies came up with an elite order of assassins to combat deadbeat dads.
Brandt, Haas, and Morgan should have included more of a back story so that the premise made more sense. Then again, since the movie is based on the comic book of the same name by Mark Millar and J.G. Jones, the screenwriters didn’t have much of a choice.
McAvoy, who’s last big film was The Last King of Scotland, is an amazing actor. He doesn’t disappoint in Wanted. Morgan Freeman as Sloan is still just as good as ever. Common, who plays Gunsmith, is kind of a baddie this time around and quite convincing. His character handles the pieces in the film, but Common can be my piece any day.
Angelina Jolie is back in top form as Fox. She’s the female relief in the all boy order and plays her character with ease. Side note: Since the rendering of Fox in the comic book series is based on Halle Berry, I wonder why she didn’t get the role.
The special effects were seamless and amazing, and to be fair, the plot was pretty good. It had nail biting suspense and a WOW factor. It’s got the makings of a great blockbuster, like Transformers.
Wanted is a pretty good time if you’re just looking for a good Friday night movie; despite the video game feel. I’m sure the filmmakers are going to come up with a video game soon.
This film is just itching to be immortalized in computer-generated imagery (CGI). Just a bit of advice, though: When you go to see the movie, leave the children at home. The violence is a little too gory for children’s eyes.