“Wanted” Dead or Alive…

Genres: Action/Adventure, Drama, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Thriller, Crime/Gangster and Adaptation
Running Time: 1 hr. 48 min.
Release Date: June 27th, 2008 (wide)
MPAA Rating: R for strong bloody violence throughout, pervasive language and some sexuality.
Distributors: Universal Pictures Distribution
Directed by: Timur Bekmambetov
JJ Rating: B+

Wesley Gibson (James McAvoy) lives a humdrum life with a girlfriend that is ever bit as noisy as train she complains about in the morning, a best friend that isn’t and a job that rapes his mind not only boringly but also figuratively by his abusive boss. Then his life flips like a stained couch cushion and he finds out he was a born assassin. Wanted.

The trailer sold me. So did the trailer for Jumper. They both seemed to have visuals that would be astonishing with a storyline that may or may not be up to par with what the eyes see. Jumper failed on the storyline a bit because it got bogged down with lovey dovey crap, but visually it worked in some areas. Wanted, on the other hand, didn’t have any lovey dovey crap and it excelled not only in story but visually.

James McAvoy was able to act like a helpless nerd and then a punk that put up with nothing from anyone. Morgan Freeman (Sloan) was a boss that was dominate and determined to get what he wanted, how he wanted and when he wanted it and Freeman acted well for he was so sure of himself it was great at the end. Angelina Joile (Fox) was the pretty assassin who had the deadly bite that would be the reason why the phrase looks could kill was created and Joile had less lines than others but more looks that were hot and spicy. Chris Pratt was the prick best friend and pulled it off with simple ease. They were dead on in their characters.

Wanted’s storyline was not very complex as the effects would make it seem. It was simply said that it was in his blood to be who he was and it worked. Everything that happened was unbelievable in reality but believable via the storyline’s explanation of why things were going as they were going. That’s exactly what a story should do. It should sell the story and make it work within the context that it needs to work and that’s what Wanted did and that’s why it worked so well. I am a bit surprised by that because I did not expect it to be a good story. But it was a good story and it was good that I did not expect greatness prior to seeing this film or I would have been sorely disappointed.

Visually Wanted is one of the better movies I’ve seen. It was creative in how it showed the bullets in movement and their destination. It was creative in how it showed the effect of slowing down time. It was creative. It had great action with the car chase scenes. One of my favorite scenes is at the beginning where McAvoy becomes fed up with is job and as he walks out he does something with a keyboard that was punk worthy, but also captivating in the blunt force as well as the spelling of flying broken keys. The climax was awesome with its boomerang, skull drilling moment. Then there was the bridge and the train. That scene was breathtaking. I’ve witnessed such a visual in my life with that train. It was slightly unbelievable but at the same time it was astoundingly done and I wanted to see Wanted again after that.

I usually, with movies like this, complain that the lines are stupid. But Wanted had some pretty good lines in it and the final line is perfect and sums up the entire movie. I’d share it but it would ruin the surprise and take away from how you’d laugh once you heard it. McAvoy does get the last laugh.

Wanted is a film I will most likely own because I could watch those visuals over and over again. They were just creative and I love creative. I’m so sick of the same tricks that are done over and over again. There needs to be some sort of variation going on and Wanted brought that to the table and I ate it up. This film is not for everyone and one review at Yahoo was even stupid enough to state, “Don’t bring your kids” (DUH!) but if you enjoy action and creative moments then this movie is for you. Don’t expect a whole lot and don’t expect a twist and you’ll be ok. It’s well worth the money to spend to see it if the trailer had you wanting to.

I named the review the way I did so that people would be singing that song and it fit the over all idea of the film. For Wesley was, throughout the whole film, Wanted, dead or alive.

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