Rated: R for strong violence including some torture, and for language throughout.
Release Date: 2008-06-27
Starring: Michael Brandt, Dean Georgaris
Official Website: http://www.wantedmovie.com/
Wanted provides the jolt of adrenaline one expects from solid summer entertainment. It exists solely to keep the heart pounding as it shifts from one gear to the next, decelerating only when exposition demands a reduction in pace. The movie marries the superhero origin film with the revenge thriller, blending them with hints of the frenzied intensity embodied by 300 and the visual orchestrations of The Matrix. The storyline, while not Pulitzer material, is strong enough to keep the average viewer involved. But this is one of those experiences where the brain is not the primary organ engaged by what flashes on the screen in the darkness.
The backstory of Wanted is of a young man who finds out his long lost father is an assassin. And when his father is murdered, the son is recruited into his father’s old organization and trained by a man named Sloan to follow in his dad’s footsteps.
Director Timur Bekmambetov showed in Night Watch that he knows how to do some arresting stuff with his cameras. He’s the everyman who discovers he’s more than he thought he was. He’s Peter Parker with an attitude. And, face it, who wants Mary Jane Watson when you can have Fox?
Angelina Jolie has always oozed sex appeal, but she’s never been able to match badass with dominatrix quite like this. Jolie doesn’t have any qualms about showing off her body, nor should she, considering how well sculpted it is. James McAvoy‘s American accent is a little flawed, but his transformation from dweeb to assassin is believable. Morgan Freeman adds a touch of class to things (much as he does with nearly every movie he’s in). There’s something perversely delicious, however, about getting to hear Easy Reader say two of George Carlin’s seven words that can’t be spoken on television.
The film’s sense of style is going to capture the praise of some who might normally not applaud a summer movie fueled by adrenaline and testosterone. But Wanted manages to deliver what action fans crave while still maintaining a veneer of artfulness. There are times when the film is flat-out silly (such as the spinning car assassination), but that’s part of the movie’s charm. At its worst, Wanted is never boring. At its best, it can be damn close to intoxicating. One word, written without apology, describes it best: fun.