Wanted (2008)

R   |    |  Action, Crime, Fantasy


Wanted (2008) Poster

A frustrated office worker learns that he is the son of a professional assassin and that he shares his father's superhuman killing abilities.

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6.7/10
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  • Angelina Jolie in Wanted (2008)
  • James McAvoy at an event for Wanted (2008)
  • Common in Wanted (2008)
  • Timur Bekmambetov and James McAvoy in Wanted (2008)
  • Morgan Freeman and Angelina Jolie in Wanted (2008)
  • Jason Isaacs at an event for Wanted (2008)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


8 December 2008 | c_p_c
7
| Not a bit of substance...but, who cares?
Putting it bluntly, 'WANTED' was a rather formulaic and predictable outing. A loserly, office shut-in with the help of a hot babe learns about his past and is suddenly thrust into the world of assassination, a world of flipping cars, extreme gun fights, and mind-altering stunts, thus shedding every bit of his shy, weak self. This we've all seen before.

Where 'WANTED' stands apart from any other action film I've seen is in its style. The director has upped the ante on how the action is portrayed. Gone are any sort of boundaries. This is a world where people can flawlessly flip cars over others and land perfectly upright on the other side, where people can shoot from miles away hitting nothing but their target, where people can put such a curve on bullets that they hit multiple targets standing on different planes all with one shot. If people can really do this, perhaps I'm living the same existence as Wesley, and I'm missing out. The film's major selling point is its style and its worth a viewing simply for that.

The A-List cast delivers solid performances, but the script they are given - with the exception of the last line uttered in the film - is mostly generic. James McAvoy is sympathetic and relatable as the guy who is overwhelmingly bored with his life but doesn't know how to change it - something many people understand. His transformation into tough guy is effortless and convincing. Angelina Jolie is Fox - a name quite fitting as Jolie looks fantastic; however, we've seen this character on her before. Still, she does it well. Freeman, as usual, injects intelligence into his role, playing the solemn leader of The Fraternity.

However, for all the edgy extreme events the film contains, the film is hurt by some pieces that are just plain odd and are never fully explained. For one, The Fraternity gets their targets from a secret code that is woven into tapestries by The Loom of Fate. Sounding like something from a Monty Python sketch, it is never revealed who - if anyone - controls the loom or where it derives its powers. Names are simply revealed through code and the members of The Fraternity don't ask questions. The members of The Fraternity are fully human, but seemingly invincible thanks to some sort of special wax bath devised to heal wounds very quickly. It's the film's easy out that allows them to deliver the goods on all the high-octane action they desire. Lastly, the film turns a very predictable corner that many will see coming from miles away.

When the film ends you will realize how simple it is and how ridiculous it is about 75% of the time, but you won't care. The film makes up for every flaw by smearing the screen with mind-bending stunts, unique filmography, and breathtaking visuals - yes, Ms. Jolie is one of them. It will be painfully obvious that all the simple plot details were just the framework and the real substance of the film lies not in its intricate story, but in the execution of its stunts and action. 7/10.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The man pictured in the poster next to Cross' shoulder when he is on the train is the president of the Czech Republic, Václav Klaus.


Quotes

Wesley: It's my anorexic boss' birthday. This means there's a certain amount of inter-office pressure to stand around the conference table, eating crappy food and pretending to worship her. Acting for five minutes like Janice doesn't make all our lives ...


Goofs

After Fox drives her car into the train, Wesley jumps over it and pursues Cross. When the train derails he his clearly seen struggling through two carriages, while Fox is in the penultimate carriage, until the final carriage dismantles. At no point does Fox overtake Wesley and everything behind Wesley detaches and descends down the cliff, this would suggest Fox has gone down with the train. However, after Wesley Shoots Cross and the carriage dislodges and fall down the cliff, Fox miraculously appears in the carriage.


Crazy Credits

There are no opening credits. The title appears as a headline on a newspaper well into the movie.


Alternate Versions

The Australian theatrical version cut a 10 second sequence where Wesley jams a gun through a dead man's mouth and uses his body as a shield while he shoots down other gunmen. This version was rated MA15+. Oddly enough, when the DVD came out, it had a sticker on the cover touting the film as "Uncut". While this was true -- and the violence in the gunfight had been re-instated -- the DVD carried the same MA15+ rating.


Soundtracks

The Little Things
Written by
Danny Elfman
Performed by Danny Elfman
Produced by David Sardy (as Dave Sardy)
Vocals Produced by Trevor Horn

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Action | Crime | Fantasy | Thriller

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