Wanted Review

Published 7 years ago by , Updated July 12th, 2008 at 2:38 pm,

Short version: Wanted tries oh so hard to be the next Matrix, but despite insane amounts of action, falls short.

wanted reviews Wanted Review
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.


Our Rating:

2.5 out of 5
(Fairly Good)

« 1 2»

Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to Gravatar.com and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. Just what I thought!!

    I agree Vic with the Matrix ripoff, it looks so comical. That opening scene sounded halarious.
    This review confirms everything I could read into the trailers.
    I don’t know why some folks believe you have to watch a bad film to have a “correct” opinion on it. «Morons.»

    I won’t be seeing this movie, anytime in my lifetime.

  2. JimK, that may be so, but like the vast majority of people seeing this movie, I haven’t read the book. If they were in fact superhuman it should have been emphasized more overtly in the film.


  3. Any word on when the Wall-E review will be up? ;)

  4. Jersey, I’m going to have to go see it when it opens like the rest of you guys. I didn’t get access to a pre-screening for Wall-E unforunately.

    So sometime this weekend.


  5. Taking a big risk here…

    Vic will prob like WALL-E more than wanted.

    Just a vibe.

  6. I’m with Vic on this, action movies have been slipping lately. The only one I’ve liked this past year was Shoot ‘em Up. just because it made fun of all the others.

    P.S. word on the street says James Mcavoy might be our next Bilbo Baggins

  7. I take it you never read the Mark Millar comics? That opening scene is almost directly out of the books. The point is that these people ARE in fact superhuman.

  8. Thanks, Vic.

    Too bad about not getting a review screening. How do they judge which critics are “worthy” of getting them?

  9. If this is written just for the fans of the comic it probably wont be very good.
    it should be accessible for EVERYBODY!

  10. jersey, different marketing firms represent different studios and I haven’t made contact with some of ‘em yet. I don’t know which firm handles Disney/Pixar screenings, but so far I’m pretty happy with the selection I’ve had. :-)


  11. So those non fans of the books should just rent “The Mechanic”?
    Charles Bronson, Jan-Michael Vincent and Jill Ireland. Now that one is worthy of a retro-review.

  12. Boy you are an Old Man. :-).

    Naw just kidding,I liked that film too.

  13. Vic, I just saw Get Smart and it was one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen in theatre. Luckily aside from my 3 friends there were only 2 other ppl in the 550 person theatre tonight. Maybe because its Thursday, but its never that empty in the summer. I did see more people going to see the Hulk (adding to my hope of a sequel).

    There were very few funny scenes, most of it was corny, awkward and stretched out. It’s about a 15-20 minute movie in 2 hours of hell. I missed some of the last parts of the movie falling asleep luckily, lol. I can’t even begin to list all the horrible scenes, from the washroom s*** trying to get his cuffs off with a crossbow for 15 minutes…when he has a friggin knife! Or the awesome 10 minute parachute gith which ended in a kiss to the bad guy…wow! argh, im glad Wall-E is out tomorrow.

    I’m so confused.

    Hulk gets 3.5…then Get Smart gets a high 4, then this gets 2.5… I’m guessing that means I’ll love Wanted, lol.


    I was impressed that the writers had the guts to use to so old fashioned “I am your father” trick.

  15. Rob,

    Well, movies ARE subjective, lol. You probably will like Wanted, then. :-)

    As far as the crossbow/knife scene in Get Smart – that was the whole point of the scene.

    BTW, I upgraded my Hulk review.


  16. Funny you bring up the Matrix, cos isn’t that what they said about the director’s last movies (Night Watch/Day Watch)? Didn’t they call them the like Russian ‘Matrix’ or some other BS comparison?

    I don’t care, I will suspend my disbelief for just about any action movie (including ones starring Charles Bronson, since he is indeed the Man).

    Come on, it can’t be as bad as ‘Equilibrium’…

  17. Yeah, sounds about right. I was never impressed with the idea of this movie, and it looks like I was right.

  18. Thanks for the review, Vic. I had already pegged this as something I was going to wait for DVD to rent. Gotta save my pennies for “Hancock,” Hellboy 2″ and “The Dark Knight.” This movie isn’t even on my radar.

  19. Naw, 790 call it like you see it! No denying the facts…

  20. Thanks the Old Man, I appreciate your support !! and I liked The Mechanic, cool film one of Bronsons best.

  21. Let’s face it.
    “Equilbrium sucked”

    Right on Teresa!


  22. Damnit, the Equilibrium bashing has begun again! To arms! ;)

    Ok, so I did like Equilibrium, and I did think the action scenes cool and everything. But one big problem, and this has been really hammered into me by recently having a look, much regretted, at others like Ultraviolet and Aeon Flux.

    So here it is: if I see one more movie which has some ultra cool character killing all the henchmen without a scratch, no matter how many there are and what weapons they have, I’m gonna freak! It can work now and then, but come on, to really get with a character we need them to suffer.
    When someone attacks the evil HQ and carves through countless nobodies and then tears apart the top baddie, and has barely broken sweat, well who cares?

    If this movie is more of the same, if, then not for me.
    Hell, the Matrix only truly worked once.

  23. who was it who said the other week Wall-E would dominate the box office and I said no because Wanted was coming out same time??

    I saw Wall-E last night for the late show. It was empty. My brother saw the evening 7pm primetime showing, less thanhalf full. All four Wanted screentimes sold out! I don’t know if that’s just because its the long-weekend in Canada and the audience is shifted, but Wall-E got owned here, lol.

    I saw Wall-E, it was good but not great, the movie was no longer that fun after it got to the interaction with fat-humans part and every robot everywhere having personalities. It got kinda boring then. The movie should of made Wall-E kinda one-of-a-kind because he has emotions but they never got into that at all and never explained why Wall-E is the only bot left.. I’d say 3.5/5 I guess, it’s not a movie I’d watch again.

  24. Hey Rob, I’m curious to see Wall-E, haven’t had a chance yet. In general critics are raving about it, but considering my personal point of view on things I’m curious how it will come across to me.

    I’m sure we’ll disagree on it. :-)


  25. Rob,

    *spoiler alert*

    Actually, it was implied why Wall-E is the last one left. The clean-up program was abandoned and Wall-E was simply the last one still functioning after 700 years. Eventually even he would have run out of spare parts taken from his fallen brethren and broken down.

    I honestly feel like I need a second viewing to properly judge the film. It contained a great deal more than I was expecting and the “Pixar” moment (lump in your throat) didn’t really hit full force until one particular scene late in the game. I didn’t realize I had connected so thoroughly to the story and characters until that point, so I think I definitely need to see it again.

  26. Spot on. I disliked the film too. But you really want to know something? I *haven’t* read the graphic novel, but I know of it. A commenter above said something to this effect “it’s in the comic, you’ll understand it then”.

    Wow. That must be the first time where a film based off a comic book or graphic novel is adapted to the screen and a major story device from the comic is changed and no one seems to notice. Remember folks: in the comics: super-villains rule the world; in the film: they are assassins, having their own personal Minority Report.

    I did find it interesting that when two “targets” come up, the two square off on a train and indirectly cause the deaths of a good hundred people or so. Given the Fraternity motto, it makes sense. But then…despite this, the only reason why the names were chosen isn’t because of ‘kill one, save a thousand’ but rather just a cover up.

    Thanks a lot.

    And yes, this film was alright, nothing great. I’m also tired of CGI bullets (in addition to “he won’t kill you because you’re his son”- but it won’t stop him from *shooting at* him, now, will it?) which are inexcusable in a Steven Seagal DTV film, so why is cool in a high budget theatrical film with better actors? Why do filmmakers love speeded up frames? Why are filmmakers in love with slo-mo shots where a character can do a gazillion things when, if it were a normal time, it would amount to under a few seconds?

  27. Now that I have seen it myself, I so disagree with your review, Vic.

    I found myself halfway through Wanted remembering this review and I thought
    What movie did he watch?” How did you not understand these people had powers beyond that of normal humans? How did you really think this took place in the “real” world?

    As for the person who totally misstated my position (Darren seeley) I never said “it’s in the comic, you’ll understand it then.” I suggested that Vic never read Wanted or he would have had a frame of references for the unnatural action sequence that begins the film. Remember, I HADN’T SEEN THE FILM YET.

    Now that I have? I do not understand how a person who has seen any action movies in the last 40 years *didn’t* get what is going on. It was blatantly obvious that these people had preternatural powers and not one word or panel of the comic was required to understand it.

    That is my $0.02. I thought the movie established it’s own set of rules immediately and those rules were pretty clear.

  28. Jim,

    To each his own, bro. I don’t understand how superpowers allow people to (literally) bend the laws of physics regarding the trajectory of bullets.

    And someone made an excellent point above regarding the 100′s of people that died during the train wreck – so much for “kill one, save a thousand.”



  29. My fears regarding Wall-E have been realized..Pixar..*&%*&%^&%*&!!! They think they are invincible and this movie along with the last proves it…Jersey..I told ya man!!