Short version: Wanted tries oh so hard to be the next Matrix, but despite insane amounts of action, falls short.
Screen Rant’s Wanted review
No doubt I’ll be taking a lot of heat for this since it seems that across the board, Wanted reviews are glowing and effusive in praise. I’ve seen many comments to the effect of “it was trash, but I loved it anyway.” While I certainly wouldn’t call it trash, it also failed to win me over.
Now don’t get me wrong… Pardon the pun, but going in I really wanted to love this movie. I didn’t go in with any thoughts that it would be high art or deep drama – just a cool popcorn flick. But even in popcorn action movies I can only suspend my disbelief so much.
There are minor spoilers related to the very first scene in the film below.
The film opens with a very cool sequence, which had me quite excited to see the rest of the film – an assassin arrives at an office about 20 or so stories high, and commences to have a gunfight with some other guys on the rooftop of a building across the street. It’s a really cool scene which demonstrates the assassin’s proficiency as he starts taking them out one by one. Suddenly they get the upper hand and he heads back down the hall and launches himself forward apparently at superhuman speed. From there we go from cool to ridiculous.
This is the scene where he breaks through a plate glass window face-first as seen in the trailer, and this is where I started scratching my head – instead of falling, he continues to fly forward, apparently on momentum. Then while still moving forward with no drop in elevation, starts shooting at his enemies. Really, I thought this was going to be some sacrificial scene as he eventually starts to drop, especially from the reverse force of firing his guns… but no. He seems to drop and them magically appears on the rooftop behind the baddies.
This left me wondering: Am I watching a superhero movie or a movie about incredibly ninja-level skilled assassins? This was a question that was never fully answered, and the fact that Wanted takes place in the real word made much of what happens in the movie hard to swallow.
From there we meet anxiety-ridden, cubicle-dwelling Wesley Gibson (played by James McAvoy). His life is in a rut – he’s in a dead end job, broke, has a foul-mouthed, overweight harpy for a boss, and his best friend is having sex with his girlfriend. How such a loser managed to score such a good looking girlfriend is beyond me. Anyway he runs into “Fox” (Angelina Jolie) at a mini-mart, where she tells him his father just died and was a master assassin, right before saving his life from another assassin who seems to be out to get Wesley.