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James McAvoy
as Wesley Gibson

Morgan Freeman
as Sloan

Angelina Jolie
as Fox

Thomas Kretschmann
as Cross

Terence Stamp
as Pekwarsky

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Netflix, Inc.

Written by Michael Brandt & Derek Haas
and Chris Morgan

Directed by Timur Bekmambetov

Running Time: 1:50

Rated R
for strong bloody violence throughout,
pervasive language and some sexuality.



Wanted was a pretty decent action-thriller that had a lot of cool scenes and lots of blood.


Wesley Gibson (James McAvoy) is a low level employee who gets crapped on by his boss and has a lot of anxiety attacks. One day, while picking up a prescription, he meets a woman who proceeds to save his life. Wesley is told that his father was one of the world's greatest assassins and the person who killed his father, is now after him. The only way he can be saved is to learn how to become an assassin himself. Under the tutelage of Fox (Angelina Jolie) and Sloan (Morgan Freeman) Wesley becomes a cold hearted killer. But while his targets may be picked by Fate, everything may not be how it appears.


Wanted was one of those summer movies that kind of sneaks up on you. It got lost in the hype with the Batmans, Iron Mans and Speed Racers of the world, but it was a very solid action film. The story is rather interesting. The basic idea behind being a great assassin is that you have the ability to control your heart rate, which in turn gives you the ability to see and do things other people can't. You can focus much more clearly on a subject, so you can say, shoot the wings off of flies. You can use that extra adrenaline to fight better and, let's say, bend a bullet. That whole bending of a bullet thing is very cool but used a little too much in the film. The whole bullet-time concept in The Matrix was used once in the first movie, on the roof of the building. It was a surprise to see it and it made the audience stand up and take notice. The bending the bullet sequence is used throughout the film so it loses its specialness by the end of the film. However, as I said, it is kind of cool.

James McAvoy is not the first person you'd think of for an action flick. As an aside, did anyone else think he sounded a lot like Shia LaBeouf? Hell at times he even kind of looked like him. Anyway, he's not the buffest of men, but it worked in this film. You could see in his eyes the transformation from poor office schlub to killer. Morgan Freeman is as rock solid as always, playing the mentor with a heart of stone. And Angelina Jolie was created to play roles like this. The hot but extremely tough chick who can make men do anything, either by a simple bat of the eye or by kicking their ass. My only issue with her is that she really needs to eat something. She looks scarily skinny in the film.

The special effects were pretty good looking, especially one sequence early on in the film where a man goes flying out of a building. It wasn't so much his ability to jump from one building to another, but the way the glass shatters in his face when he does it. The action sequences in the film were really what made this movie stand out. It had a really frenetic pace, reminiscent of The Bourne Trilogy but not as well done. There were car chases, massive explosions and lots of cool blood effects when those bullets would bend into people. The story starts off in one direction and takes a turn about two-thirds of the way through that I didn't see coming, so it was nice that I was kept on my toes. It does get a little slow at times, and the repetitiveness of watching Wesley go through training was a bit much. The story wasn't anything new or special but it was solid. It's all really about the action moments, including a sequence on a train that will rival any stunt you'll see this summer.


So overall, I enjoyed Wanted. It got a little slow at times and the story wasn't as strong as I had hoped, but the action sequences were more than enough to make this film worth checking out.

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reviewed 06/27/08

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