Wanted

Directed by Timur Bekmambetov

> > Feb 2009

Wanted - Directed by Timur Bekmambetov
By Cam LindsayIn a year where the box office was dominated by comic adaptations, Wanted joined in on the fun, though oddly from outside the "super being" spectrum. Directed by Bekmambetov, the Russian mastermind behind the awe-inspiring visuals of the Night Watch franchise, Mark Millar and J.G. Jones's popular graphic novel hit the screen with its loud, aggressive and adrenaline-filled action intact. However, comic enthusiasts noticed there was a major twist put on the work of Millar and Jones, as Bekmambetov and his team of screenwriters altered the super villain arc for one focused solely on an underground league of hired assassins. If you're unfamiliar with Wanted the comic, like me, you'll easily ignore such a major oversight, and if you can live with knowing such a major oversight exists, it doesn't affect how much of a rush Bekmambetov's first English-language feature is. The plot centres itself on the tedious life of Wesley (the always excellent James McAvoy), an anxiety-filled doormat of a bean counter who one day finds himself pulled into a dangerous, high octane world by the Fraternity, a 1,000-year-old league of assassins led by Sloan (Morgan Freeman) and his attractive gunslinger Fox (Angelina Jolie). Recruited to seek revenge on the killer of his long-lost father, Wesley's life goes from zero to 60 in a flash, but during his rigorous training he begins to discover that there's more to his induction than simple revenge. Wanted is all brawn and little brains, the kind of computer-enhanced flick that allows the viewer to forget searching for any sense of purpose and just take in the eye-popping, whiplash-inducing action sequences (corner-turning bullets, driving cars while lying on the hood - upside down, etc.) that are born of utter implausibility. Can it exist without CGI? Not without completely abandoning its strength, which is that logic was thrown out the window with innocent bystander number three on the catastrophic train derailing. With such a reliance on effects you'd expect featurettes up the wazoo but the single-disc version disappointingly comes with nothing (although there is a double-disc version), leaving little to those revisiting this movie, other than one more look at Jolie exiting the "healing tub," which for some is all that's required.
(Universal)
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