“Wanted”: A Movie Review

Genres Action, Crime, Thriller
Starring Angelina Jolie, James McAvoy, Morgan Freeman
Directed by Timur Bekmambetov
IMDB rating 6,7/10
MPAA rating R
Release info 27 June 2008
Duration 1h 50min

Wanted was directed by Timur Bekmambetov and it is rated R for strong bloody violence throughout, pervasive language and some sexuality.

I’m not too picky about action movies. As long as there are some good fights or chases I’m pretty much happy to watch. I don’t need an in-depth plot or even great acting. Good action scenes will completely makeup for an otherwise bad movie for me. So, now that you know about my lack of any real standards in what it takes to enjoy a movie I’ll explain why I think Wanted is a pretty lame movie.

“Wanted”: A Movie Review

I did not get a chance to see Wanted in the theater so I rented it shortly after it released on DVD. I remember the trailers for it looking promising. Lots of action and gun fights with Angelina Jolie looking pretty hot. Sounded like a pretty good movie. Unfortunately the trailers were deceiving and it was a really bad movie.

The movie is about James McAvoy’s character, Wesley Gibson, learning that his father was an assassin and his progression from a office worker to being an assassin himself. Unfortunately McAvoy is pretty much the reason I did not like the movie. I never believed him in the role of an assassin. He fit the office worker stereotype well in those scenes, but when he was suppose to be this tough killer I just did not buy it. Had they found an actor that could pull off more of a Clark Kent to Superman type transfiguration better I might have really liked Wanted.

“Wanted”: A Movie Review

I don’t want to give away anything not in the trailers so I’ll try to keep this spoiler free. The story in the movie was actually pretty interesting for the first half of the movie. McAvoy finds out his dad was an assassin and starts to learn how to be one himself. He is taught to fight, to shoot, and how to think like an assassin. After getting through some training he gets his first assassination assignments. This is where the plot gets too holey for me. It goes strait from his first couple missions to probably the most important one of his life. When the story jumps after the first couple of assassination missions that is where it really lost me. As if a couple simple shootings have prepared a whiney office drone to take on a serious killer. Wesley Gibson never looks or acts like he could kill anyone. McAvoy never portrays a character that seems like he could be an assassin.

Besides McAvoy/Gibson never seeming like he could be a killer there were some other big flaws in the movie. Assuming a different actor was portraying Gibson they still need to give him a few more missions in between learning to fight and the main battle of the movie. Also, they take considerable time to teach him how to use knives, but he never uses one for an assassination. There is no point in showing us, as the viewer, that he learned to use knives and then not have him use that skill any other time. It was pointless.

My final complaint about the movie is more one of personal preference than anything else. At the beginning of the movie there are a couple sex scenes that really don’t fit into the plot of the movie. They seem like they were added just to show off a mostly naked girl more than anything else. They should have just left these scenes out because there was no reason to include them.

Finalliy, I would not recommend Wanted to anyone. Yes, there were some cool fighting and action scenes but they just don’t make up for how bad of a movie this is.

Rajeev Masand
Rajeev Masandhttp://rajeevmasand.com/
Rajeev Masand is an Indian film critic. He works for Noida based English language news channel CNN-Indian Broadcasting Network (CNN-IBN). He usually reviews Bollywood films and major Hollywood films released in India in his weekend show Now Showing. Rajeev Masand was thrice awarded ‘Best Entertainment Critic’ by the National Television (NT) Awards, in 2008, 2010 and 2011. Rajeev is Contributing Editor for GQ India, and writes a monthly column, Talk Movies for the magazine.

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