Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

This is a dangerous movie. Subversive even. Sure on the surface it may look like a mindless summertime shootemup with hot babes, fast cars, impossibly ridiculous stunts and a silly plot, but this movie ĎWantedí frightens me. The reason it scares me is because the main character of Wesley Gibson, ably played by James McAvoy, is a nine-to-five loser with a crappy boss, a whore for a girlfriend, a best friend that is servicing his whore girlfriend, is flat broke and has absolutely no future plans to change any of this, but as he narrates this film we learn that the heart of an Angelina Jolie loving assassin beats underneath his pale skin and boy does he turn around his life. My concern is that nine-to-five poorly dressed broke ass losers world wide will start grabbing their ergonomic keyboards and begin beating people with them, cursing out their abusive bosses, pushing up on women way beyond their pay grade and trying to curve bullets based on they have seen in this film, which does a great job of selling us on this illusion. Please, donít do it. And under no circumstances are you to try to strap a bomb on a rat. THAT one Iíve tried and they are VERY uncooperative.

So as we have already observed, Wesley Gibson is a mess. On top of his already mentioned laundry list of problems he also has to take panic attack pills to calm his frequently racing heart beat. All things change for Wesley when he meets the lovely assassin Fox (Jolie) at the local pharmacy who is there to save his life from the rouge assassin Cross (Thomas Kretschmann). In one of the films MANY outlandish but spirited action sequences, the petrified Wesley and the cool as ice Fox manage to escape Crossí deadly aim and the pair take refuge at the hideout of the league of assassins known as The Fraternity, assassins who for a thousand years have slaved to keep chaos from overtaking order, receiving their missions from the Loom of Death. Donít even ask.

Wesley learns that his father, who walked out him when he was seven days old, was a top assassin for The Fraternity and was recently taken out by Cross who has turned on

the group and is one by one shaving off their numbers. According to Sloan (Morgan Freeman) who leads the group, Wesley is the only person who can take Cross out because of the genetic killing assassin blood Ė or something Ė that flows through him. But itís going to take some intense training to get the boy up to speed. For this purpose we have The Repairman (Marc Warren) whose job it beat a bound Wesley to bloody pulp on a daily basis, The Butcher (Dato Bakhtadze) whose job it is teach Wesley how to use knives by slicing him up on a daily basis, The Gunsmith (Common) who has to teach Wesley how to curve his bullets around targets and stuff, The Exterminator (Konstantin Khabensky) who heals Wesley after getting sliced and beat daily and of course Fox who monitors all of this nonsense.

It took some time but now Wesley is a cold blood killer and after a few warm up murders heís ready to take on Cross. But if only it were so simple because somebody somewhere is trying to run the okey-doke on my man Wesley, but with an unlimited amount of bullets, some peanut butter and the patience needed to strap bombs on numerous rats, Iím thinking heís going to figure it all out.

As I was telling the gentlemen after screening this flick, a movie based on the graphic novel by Mark Millar and J.G. Jones, that this was the kind of movie were it made in 1985, the demographic that I was a part of, would have been lined up around the block to see because we loved bona fide R-rated, super violent, brainless, hyper action movies like this back in the day. As we have discussed before, todayís demographic seems to be more inclined towards gay pirate movies, but ĎWantedí may have just enough mindless, insane action to even please those gay pirate movie lovers out there. You will be hard pressed to find a movie that moves as fast as this one does as it only slows down to interject some perfunctory story elements or to allow Morgan Freeman to incant wisely to his flock. You could be on fire and Morgan Freeman could calmly tell you that you are not and you would believe him despite the awful stench of your own burning flesh. But once he shuts his yap itís time for some more shooting, bullets exploding in heads, car chases, trains falling off cliffs, L-train surfing and of course Angelina Jolie watching, who has the amazing talent of acting in an entire movie without blinking once.

Of course all of this action comes at a price, but to the credit of Russian director Timur Bekmambetov and his film editors they donít give you the opportunity to Ďthinkí about how ridiculous this whole thing is until the film is long over. The litany of transgressions this movie commits against the laws of gravity, physics, thermodynamics and logic is far to lengthy to even attempt to list here, but this will only be an issue if you watch the movie with somebody and then attempt to discuss it with them. DONíT DO IT! Simply sit back, enjoy the action, watch the Corvette make the old mustang fly, watch the bullet zig-zag through a maze towards its target and watch Angelina Jolie not blink for close to two hours. And most of all, remember that itís just a movie and smashing an obnoxious work mate with your keyboard will only result in you getting the crap beat of you.

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