A wild action sequence ensues, that while pretty crazy and unbelievable, was not so much so as to suck the fun out of it. Jolie is pretty great as the cool as a cucumber babe assassin and McAvoy plays neurotic so well that it was hard to empathize with the character. Really I just wanted to slap him at this point in the film.

He’s taken to meet Sloan (Morgan Freeman) who is the head honcho of a cabal of assassins going back 1,000 years and was started by… weavers. There are people who are “special” so some sort of natural gift is talked about – although I found Wesley shooting the wings off of flies without even trying more than a bit ridiculous.

Wesley is hesitant at first, but when he finds over $3 million in his bank account, it causes him to re-evalute things and the following scene in his office where he finally cuts loose on his boss and best friend is pretty damned hysterical.

He heads back and has no idea what the initiation he’s about to go through is like, and let me tell you, it isn’t pretty. As a matter of fact it’s bloody as hell and goes on long enough to make him start questioning if he even wants to complete it. Of course he does complete it and while he wants to find his father’s killer, Sloan tells him it’s not yet time and selects the next victim using a method that you’ll think is either pretty cool or just plain silly.

Again, Wesley is hesitant when it comes time to actually pull the trigger, but eventually he embraces his role as an assassin, which doesn’t really make all that great a hero to be rooting for.

So what was good? Some of the action sequences are balls-out cool. There’s a scene towards the end that hints back to the lobby scene in the first Matrix movie. Also the sequence aboard the train was very exciting. Angelina Jolie is always great to watch with that very cool persona, McAvoy was acceptable in assassin mode and it was fun to watch Morgan Freeman cut loose with some less than genteel language.

On the other hand, rarely have I seen so much style applied to so little substance. While some of the action sequences were great, a lot of the time the cameraman brought “shaky cam” to a WHOLE new level. This wasn’t the weaving and bobbing POV we’ve become accustomed to seeing, this was like the guy was having a Grand Mal seizure while trying to point the camera. Imagine someone holding a camcorder, and then just whipping their arm around wildly while filming and that pretty much describes some it.

The curving bullet thing – yeah ok, if you want to go with it, go with it. I could buy it up to a point, but there’s a scene at the end where it’s taken to such, for lack of a better word, an idiotic extreme that I had to laugh out loud.

Overall Wanted just seemed too self-aware of how cool it was trying to be, with the goal of being “the next Matrix,” and that detracted from it. A lot.

Our Rating:

2.5 out of 5
(Fairly Good)

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