Movie Review: Wanted

Wanted film poster Movie Review: Wanted

Having seen the trailer a couple of months back, I thought it was going to be awful. The cheesy action scenes, the bad one liners, predictable story.  It seemed like it was trying too hard to be cool. A week before the movie came out, I was hearing good buzz about it. Then I learned, Timur Bekmambetov directed the movie. Bekmambetov is known for making the Russian cult films, Nightwatch and Daywatch (The third and final installment, Twilight Watch will be released next year.). His movies didn’t appeal to me but right away I gave Wanted the benefit of the doubt because he has a fascinating style to his films.

I’m glad I gave Wanted the benefit of the doubt because it’s the best movie of the year! Everything in the movie worked: the cheesy action scenes, the one liners that weren’t so bad in the context of the movie and the story.

James McAvoy (Atonement) plays Wesley Gibson, a drone in the workforce. He hates his job and life is going downhill fast. One day, Angelina Jolie’s character, Fox, introduces Wesley to a group of assassins called The Fraternity, lead by Sloan (Morgan Freeman). Gibson joins the group and starts his training to become an assassin.

So far it sounds like Matrix but that’s where it ends. While Matrix was full of philosophy and kung fu ballet, Wanted focuses on raw violence and the tragedies of life. From the beginning, Bekmambetov establishes that we are in a different universe. Humans jump over buildings and bullets go on for miles. There are about 3 scenes that paid off greatly but that’s because we care enough about the characters, not boring stereotypes.

The film is very violent for a comic book adaptation. Headshots and stabbings are cringe-worthy and cool at the same time. It is unapologetic and puts the violence to good use. While most movies today fail miserably with their endings, Wanted goes full circle. There are no loopholes and the viewers get their answers without feeling cheated. I think we have a new great action director in Timur Bekmambetov. Watch this movie ASAP.

Grade: A-

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