An anxious accountant is drawn into a world of assassins and
murder after discovering his father was a superhuman contract killer.
Directed by Timur Bekmambetov
Written by Michael Brandt, Derek Haas, Chris Morgan
Starring James McAvoy, Angelina Jolie, Morgan Freeman,
Thomas Kretschmann, Terence Stamp, Common, Chris Pratt
Based on the comic book series by Mark Millar and J.G. Jones
Oscar Nominations - Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing
Wanted is a thrilling, action-packed popcorn flick that delivers what it promises and never takes itself too seriously. The whole concept is so ridiculous and crazy that it teeters just on the edge of silly almost the whole time, yet the action sequences and the performances make up for the ludicrous idea of superhuman, bullet-curving assassins with vague motives. The film shows you a world of underground assassins through the eyes of an ordinary man with an extraordinary lineage, and constantly makes you question the worth of your own life in the grand scheme of things. Oddly philosophical for a movie that also features bullets exploding through foreheads in reverse, but I digress.
James McAvoy delivers a strong performance as Wesley Gibson, a frustrated accountant whose stuck in a rut. When he is kidnapped by an order of assassins called the Fraternity, he learns that his father was a superhuman assassin and the man who killed him is after Wesley. Wesley trains to be an assassin like his father, and hone his own latent abilities with the help of Fox (Angelina Jolie) and the order's leader Sloan (Morgan Freeman). While the training montage is a bit cliched and the film takes a noticeable shift in tone once Wesley masters his abilities, the movie is loaded with enough jaw-dropping action scenes and surprising plot twists that keep your eyes glued to the screen from beginning to end.
One thing that bothered me was the lack of explanation behind the motives of the Fraternity. They claim to be given their targets' names through fate, but that's all. I haven't read the comic series, so maybe this is answered somewhere in there, but in the movie, it's never expanded on. Just to satisfy my own curiosity, I'd like to know who's funding this order and giving them orders. Regardless, I enjoyed Wanted and am surprised it never spawned a franchise. Maybe because James McAvoy got swept up in the X-Men series.