Wanted Cover Don't you find that life can be very surprising at times? One minute you could be a pretty regular person with a pretty regular lifestyle. And the next minute you can be a hired assassin with a sexy dame by your side. True. Just look at this film to see what I mean. This comic book film Directed by Timur Bekmambetov; and Starring: James McAvoy, Morgan Freeman, Angelina Jolie, and Terence Stamp. It was made in 2008 and lasts for 110 minutes.


Poor lowly accounts manager, Wesley Gibson (James McAvoy), is having a really bad time of it at the moment. For a start he is shot at by his reclusive father's killer, Cross (Thomas Kretschmann). He is then saved by a sexy female assassin called Fox (Angelina Jolie), who takes him to dead fathers well-spoken boss, Sloan (Morgan Freeman). Plus, on top of that, Sloan explains to Wesley that he has untapped potential within himself, and that he and his fraternity of assassins can teach him how to tap into this potential, so that he can avenger his fathers death.


OK, so what is Wesley going to do about it, huh? Tell his own boss to f*ck off, slap his best-friend around the mouth with a keyboard because he is shagging his girlfriend, and then go to see Sloan to make him a new man?

Errr? Yes. Why not?

However, is this the right thing for Wesley to do? Train to be an assassin I mean. Because each and every member of this fraternity is very brutal to him you know. For example, the Repairman and the he Butcher (Marc Warren and Dato Bakhtadze) both beat him senseless until he can fight back. Fox pushes him onto of a subway train so that he can get used to unstable ground. Sloan goads him with his father's past life, just so he can learn about his legacy with the fraternity. Plus to top it all off, Wesley is coaxed to kill an unscrupulous business man, just so that he can test his own abilities in the field.   

OK, so now is he ready? Is Wesley now Super-Wes? Well? Kind of. Though I have to admit, that it does not look that way when he accidentally kills a member of the fraternity when Cross attacks him. Nevertheless, Wesley does learn something from this disastrous turn of events, and manages to catch up with Cross with some reluctant help from arms-dealer, Pekwarsky (Terence Stamp).
But, I am afraid to say, that this fateful confrontation does have a certain mind-shattering aftertaste. As you see, on the one hand, both Wesley and Fox are able to kill cross upon a moving train. Whilst, on the other hand, before Cross dies, he tells Wesley that Sloan's fraternity is a sham, and that he is in fact his...

No. No saying. But I suppose that is why what next transpires is a right bullet fest all in all. As true tales are relayed - rat-bombs are laid - confrontations are brave and bold - and the eventful ending was previously foretold.

When 'Wanted' first came out all those years ago in comic book form, I have to admit, at the time it did not look like anything special to me. Conceptually, it was a well presented book with big guns, bigger tits, and even bigger splash pages full of carnage, death, and destruction, which creators, Mark Millar and J.G. Jones, were good at doing amidst their other works for Image, DC, and Marvel. Still, I did give it a good look for about five minutes or so, just before I then put it back on the racks and picked up 'Savage Dragon' instead.

However, now all these years have pasted, and I have watched the 'Wanted' movie, do you think that I have regretted my decision at all?  No. Not really. You see, it's always been one of those books that I would have picked up if I had a bit more cash to splash, and I have never felt that I have missed out on something special by not adding it to my pull list. Moreover, after watching the film, I do feel more of the same too, as this flick is one of those good bad movies' that's a tad too unbalanced as a story.

James in Wanted

Well, not to put too finer point on it, it is the sort of film that leaves you with a funny aftertaste, after you have watched it. To elaborate:

THE GOOD: (1) I did get a good glimpse of Angelina's pert ass. (2) All of the main players did pull of a great performance in this film - especially Angelina, James, and Morgan. (3) My favorite parts of this movie were in the introductory section, where you actually saw some pathos and personality amongst the characters. (4) The voice over narration did help prop up this movie when it was waning, and it also drove the overall plot along very nicely as well.

THE BAD: (1) As much as I did like the action scenes, I did find many of them of the 'car commercial' variety, with the slo-mo posses and vapid effects. (2) The second string characters felt too cosmetic within the structure of this film, and only acted as if they were pawns within the plot. (3) The 'Dark Vader' twist within the story was a bit confusing to me upon first viewing, and I did have to rewind it back just in case I thought I heard it incorrectly. Please note, it wasn't the actual 'twist' that I was not pleased with, rather, how it was conveyed within the scene.  (4) The training sequence did take up a large amount of the movie, and left 'the confrontation' segments seemingly rushed in comparison.

Angelina and Morgan in Wanted

Oh! One minute! Before I forget. Please let me tell you some 'Wanted' facts as well, huh? (1) Angelina Jolie based her role on Clint Eastwood. (2) This is director, Timur Bekmambetov, first American film. (3) James McAvoy suffered several injuries during shooting, including a twisted ankle and an injured knee. (4) Jessica Biel, Halle Berry, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Beyonc√© Knowles, were all considered for the role of Fox. (5) This film was based on a comic book created by Mark Millar and J.G. Jones for Top Cow Productions. (6) Morgan Freeman worked on this film and "The Dark Knight" at the same time, because they were both being developed side by side in Chicago. (7) The whole team did wear superhero costumes in the comic book. (8) James McAvoy was initially rejected to star in this film because he did not look like a ''leading man". But later he was accepted because the producers changed his character into someone a bit more geeky looking. And (9) The script for this flick went through quite a few revisions until it was ready to put on celluloid. The first draft was rejected by Mark Millar for being 'too American'. As soon as Angelina Jolie was hired her character was given more exposure. And finally the voice over narration of Wesley was filtered through out the film to keep it slightly more uniform.

Angelina's Tattoos in Wanted

Overall, 'Wanted' isn't that bad a film really. Though it is more for those people who like their guns big, their tits bigger, and their screen filled with even bigger displays' of carnage, death, and destruction - just like the original comic book.


WANTED WANTED Reviewed by David Andrews on May 24, 2012 Rating: 5
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