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Wanted
Review written on: July 27th, 2008

Wanted Review

I had high expectations for Wanted after seeing the totally awesome red band trailer. Unfortunately, most of the really exciting parts of the movie were given away in the trailer. That doesn’t necessarily make it a bad movie, but once we’ve seen the stunts they’re not as impressive the second time around.

The movie follows Wesley Gibson (James McAvoy, doing an impressive American accent), a perpetual loser with a crappy job, a cheating girlfriend, and a two-timing best friend. While I enjoyed the voiceover explanation of his crappy life, entirely too much time is spent on driving home the fact that he’s a loser.

Wesley meets Fox (Angelina Jolie) while she’s trying to save his life from the assassin that killed his father the day before. The convenience store scene happens mostly in slow motion, which is kind of cool the first time, but gets overused in the rest of the film. The car chase that ensues after Fox and Wesley meet is pretty awesome. You’ve probably seen clips of it in the trailers – Angelina driving a hot red sports car, shooting at bad guys while leaning out the busted front window. It gives the movie a nice kick in the pants.

After the “shoot the wings off the flies” scene that everyone loved from the previews, Wesley is trained to be an assassin. He learns to use knives in hand-to-hand combat, to use the special healing solution that allows the assassins to heal in hours instead of weeks, and learns to curve the bullet (clearly the coolest part of being an assassin). It has a Batman Begins feel to it, but doesn’t come anywhere close to being as cool as the training scenes Bruce Wayne goes through to become Batman. Although, Wesley does have a superhero-esque quality about him, in a Peter Parker kind of way. He’s an unbelievable loser on the surface, and then turns into this badass killing machine.

The plot has a few good twists and turns near the end that are interesting, but overall the movie wasn’t nearly as exciting as the previews made it out to be. Maybe it was because I had already seen all the good stuff, but I just wasn’t that invested in the story. The acting was fine (how can you go wrong with Morgan Freeman and Angelina Jolie?). James McAvoy could easily go on to do another action movie. He was, in fact, the highlight of the movie. I’d never seen him in a movie before, but he’s very charismatic, very likable. The special effects showing the bullets going through people and tracing them back to where they came from was pretty awesome. Overall, however, it just didn’t meet my high expectations.

It’s worth picking up on DVD if you’re a McAvoy fan or really, really like the previews, but you wouldn’t be missing much if you skipped it entirely.

 

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