Kristina G. (familiagarduno) from COLUMBUS, OH Reviewed on 3/22/2009...
A great movie for what it is, but not spectacular. Glad we didn't pay to see it in the theaters, but happy to have seen it. Especially some of the better parts :)
2 of 6 member(s) found this review helpful.
Vanessa V. (sevenspiders) Reviewed on 12/15/2008...
At the risk of sounding like a nerd, I have to say that Wanted's biggest failure is its deviation from the original comic. The movie's cleverest and most exciting parts are those drawn from the comic; where corporate drone Wesley is plucked from his life of apathetic misery and whipped, or rather pounded, into shape as an elite assassin. As an assassin Wesley joins the ranks of the secret Fraternity, and the movie takes a drastic and ill-advised turn.
The comic-book Fraternity is an organization of supervillains who murder, rape and pillage the world with total impunity. The movie Fraternity is a sort of DaVinci-Code guild that takes their orders from a magical loom? I can understand the screenwriters desire to make the characters somewhat redeemable, instead of leaving them as an organized band of droogs a-la A Clockwork Orange. But seriously, a magical loom?
There's some moderately impressive CGI, but nothing stunning enough to distract from the film's stupidity. Angelina Jolie tries to mellow her bad-assness with a hint of traumatic childhood, but comes across as implausible as the rest of the plot. Morgan Freeman sounds good but has absolutely no conviction. James McAvoy actually does a remarkable job as Wesley, accurately capturing the insecurity and rage. But nothing in the acting elevates the film above its inanity.
The source material is nihilistic, dark and morally ambiguous. But at least its original. Wanted the movie tries to clean up that moral ambiguity into a more mainstream superhero movie. How ironic, in the process of making the story more palatable, they made it nauseatingly bland.
4 of 5 member(s) found this review helpful.
A very entertaining action flick. The best eye candy for 200
R R | Madison, WI, USA | 11/10/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I don't watch enough action flicks to compare this to as far as 'depth' is concerned (and I find people looking for 'depth' in action movies about as silly/clueless as these movies are accused of being). But as I understand it, Wanted is based on a comic book (so judge the movie accordingly, please, instead of out of context). Morgan Freeman, Angelina Jolie, and James McAvoy and the rest truly impressed in their respective roles. And Ms. Jolie (or Mrs. Pitt) burnt a hole on the screen with her physicality (clearly she's no damsel-in-distress) and her deep brooding enigmatic charm. Her best action role to date: as Fox she could kick Ms. Lara Croft's sorry 4$$ without breaking a sweat. I saw it twice on the big screen and intend to get the DVD (saying quite a lot since I'm not really an action movie fan)."
Action, Action, and More Action
The Movie Man | Maywood, New Jersey USA | 11/27/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
""Wanted" is a mile-a-second action picture that never lets up. Wesley Gibson (James McAvoy) suddenly finds that his life as an ordinary office worker is over. A beautiful woman, Fox (Angelina Jolie), crashes into his life and introduces him to the Fraternity, a secret society of assassins led by the mysterious Sloan (Morgan Freeman). Wesley is informed that his long-lost father was murdered while working for the Fraternity and Wes has been chosen to target the rogue member who did it. Before he can complete his assignment, he must first uncover the dark secrets behind the Fraternity to understand why he was selected and how he figures in its plans. The main attraction of "Wanted" is the amazing use of CGI special effects, from glass panes shattering as bodies fly through them to bullets redirecting their trajectory in mid-propulsion. Jolie manages to look as comfortable in action flicks as in serious dramas like the recent "Changeling." She is quite the action babe and easy on the eye. McAvoy, who showed his acting chops in "The Last King of Scotland" and "Atonement" seems an odd fit for "Wanted." He looks as if he's doing this one to pay for the new swimming pool. He's fine in the early scenes as a drone-like worker lost in a huge company, but his transformation into this almost-indestructible super assassin is harder to accept. Bonus extras on this two-disc DVD include an extended scene; behind-the-scenes featurettes on the film's stunts, visual effects, and origins in the graphic novel; and a making-of documentary."
J. K. Hinton | TX USA | 12/15/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I'm surprised at the number of poor reviews for this film. I have to admit that I picked it up with limited expectations, but once into it, I found it to be a bloody, irresistible ride---for what it is, that is.
This film was spectacular in Blu-ray, appearing almost 3-D, at times. The CGI and audio were equally adrenaline pumping and, although I'm not usually into blood-fest, action films, this one became addictive.
Yeah, the plot was limited, but I found a great deal of enjoyment watching James McAvoy morph from a passive, introverted, office cube-jockey, into a man. One who learned to stop saying, 'I'm sorry,' for just about everything. I did find myself mentally repeating, 'wax on, wax off,' during some of his lethality training, with difficulty taking his transformation seriously :-).
Morgan Freeman has been a great addition to so many films, but he often tends to come across with the same acting formula. His abilities were stretched, with this atypical character. Amazingly, he can actually be a convincing 'bad guy.' Who knew!
Angelina Jolie's role was a piece-of-cake for her. She rarely had any dialogue. She was basically eye-candy, for the guys. But, her sultry, sexy, witchy-eyed attributes were perfect for this killing-machine, character. Hmm, I'm scared of her! And, she does angst SO well with those pouty lips, doesn't she.
So, if you view this movie with casual expectations and are willing to allow yourself the enjoyment of pure escapism and bloody mayhem, I think you will enjoy this movie. Just don't have too many espressos before watching. You could develop a cardiac arrhythmia :-)."
Mark Millar and J.G. Jones' Comic Series comes to Life! A So
Woopak | Where Dark Asian Knights Dwell | 07/02/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"WANTED is loosely based on the comic mini-series by Mark Millar and J.G. Jones which has been published by Top Cow productions. The movie is directed by Timur Bekmambetov, the filmmaker who gave us the 2 part Russian mystical action series: "Nightwatch" and "Daywatch". I wasn't a fan of those two films so I went in without any expectations. Surprise! This director seemed to have honed his directorial skills; armed with a larger budget, a great cast and a comic series that has a cult following, "Wanted" is a visually stunning action movie that redefines the term "Popcorn Entertainment".
Wesley Gibson (James McAvoy) is an accountant in a dead end job, with a cheating girlfriend and who is flat broke. One day, he encounters a woman named Fox (Angelina Jolie) who after an encounter with a man named Cross (Thomas Kretschmann) takes him to see the head of a secret organization of assassins called "The Fraternity". Sloan (Morgan Freeman) has revealed that Gibson's father was a member and that they want him to follow his father's footsteps. Being his father's son, Wesley has a unique ability to pump more adrenaline into his body than a normal person can. Wesley undergoes extensive training both mental and physical to go face to face with the man who supposedly killed his father; Cross. Little does he know that there is more to everything than meets the eye and truths may lead him to question everything he has come to believe.
"WANTED" is an adrenaline-pumping, fast-paced, soda-slurping, hyper-kinetic solid action film that relies on its visual execution. The way it is shot is directed at our visual senses with outlandish action sequences that is both sexy, dynamic and nearly as groundbreaking as the original "Matrix". This is definitely the film's main draw as the director immerses you into the sequences that looks enchanting, sexy and downright COOL. Once Bekmambetov sets things up, the audience will be treated to one of the most impressive action sequences I've been privy to less than 5 minutes into the film. It was a great move in part of the director, to wake the viewer up and make sure he has your attention for its entirety with a large exclamation point. The film is not pretentious--it knows exactly what it's aiming for.
Now, there is also more to the film that first meets the eye. The film has an effective plotline. These highly trained assassins whose skills borders on being superhuman are not simple killers who get paid to do a job. They depend on mysticism in order to decide who lives and who dies. The tapestry has a close relationship to Norse Mythology's "Weave of FATE" According to which, the three Norns were responsible for weaving the future of man and Gods alike. Well, according to Norse Mythology anyway. Some viewers may argue that this may be a little far-fetched that there should always be someone to pull the strings; well, that's where the film also becomes a morality play. The film has bits of the "revenge" formula but it doesn't really hurt its proceedings.
Wesley Gibson is a simple guy with no ambitions so how does one train him to awaken his hidden capabilities? Simple, first beat the tar out of him. I mean beating him ala-"Fight Club". This may be a step backward to some, but for me I thought it made sense. Some Zen techniques have proven that pain can be used as a tool to chip away the useless things. Adrenaline can be a magical thing, believe it or not. The filmmakers need to be complemented that they picked an actor like McAvoy instead of an ultra-cool personality like Jason Statham. McAvoy maintained that everyday guy image and I appreciated the fact that the screenwriter took the time to develop his character. Gibson is a pitiable character and I saw how he was molded into a highly skilled assassin which was very admirable. Gibson became a different person and he doesn't look like someone intimidating that would allow him to blend in.
It is always good to have Morgan Freeman and having Angelina Jolie around doesn't hurt either. Freeman is his usual sympathetic self and Jolie is her usual mysteriously sexy self. Jolie's character "Fox" is a woman driven into the Fraternity for her own reasons. We saw glimpses of her past but it doesn't really explain much about her which maintains her aura of mystery.
The film does have its faults and some viewers may say that it follows some "already" established formulas; while this may be true, the film does work. Hey, it sure helps when you add an army of lethal rats stoked on peanut butter and explosives. The "curving" of bullets theory may seem a bit over the top but hey snipers have been curving a bullet's trajectory when a target is hundreds of yards away. There are also some great bits that comes out of the comic book. The shooting the wings off the fly would satisfy comic book fans. There are nice bits of humor dispersed throughout the film but it abandons it soon enough when the proceedings become all business.
"WANTED" is full of familial vengeance, epiphanies, explosions and rock-solid shoot-outs that borders on insanely cool but also utterly insane. There is an overload of nasty violence and mild gore that would be cause for praise. Shooting through a blown away jugular? Cool. Amid all the violence and comic book mayhem the film finds a soul and the effective twists makes "Wanted" a very rewarding experience.
Just what happens when you become the one thing you fight against?
Highly Recommended! [4 ½- Stars] "
Jonathan Dedward | Nowheresville, Slothwestern North America | 07/13/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Shades of Star Wars, the Matrix, the Professional and the Fast and the Furious make their tired appearance in this absolutely redundant, brainless and insultingly in-your-face wallet siphon called, inappropriately, "Wanted." A pathetic work-a-day loser, with whom us twenty somethings are meant to relate, finds himself in the middle of a shootout between professional assassins, learns he has mystical powers and spends a few days training to become a super-powered killing machine/race car driver. This movie represents bad, bland, half-baked writing and pop-culture appropriation in Hollywood at its worst. I would gladly give no stars to this if I could... if this review dissuades even a single person from spending money on the film, I'll be happy."