Distributed By: Universal Pictures
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
I’m not a huge fan of seeing movies on their premiere date. I hate how crowded it can get, especially if it’s a highly anticipated movie which has been preceded by a ton of hype. However, when I was treated to the Wanted trailer about three months ago, I simply knew I had to see this movie. When my friend suggested we see it on Friday, June 27 –gulp, opening night – my answer was an emphatic yes. You see, the trailer for Wanted made the movie look so exciting, I was willing to brave the crowds to check it out.
Wanted is an action film loosely based on the comic book miniseries by Mark Miller. Lead character Wesley Gardner (James McAvoy) is a fairly boring individual who suffers from anxiety attacks, works a fairly boring job, and dates a girl who has been cheating on him with his best friend. It seems that life will continue to be uneventful for Wes, until the night be meets Fox (Angelina Jolie), a mysterious yet beautiful girl who recruits Wes into the Fraternity, a secret society of assassins for the greater good led by Sloan (Morgan Freeman).
Wes soon learns that the father he never knew was actually a lead assassin for the Fraternity and was recently murdered by a rogue Fraternity member named Cross. As he begins his training as a member of the Fraternity, he soon discovers that there is a lot more to his new associates than meets the eye. Seeking to avenge his father with his newly unlocked dormant powers, Wes teeters on the line of heroism and vengeance. When Wes discovers that all at the Fraternity is not what it seems to be, will he have the courage to carry out what needs to be done.
Think back to the most adrenaline-pumping, action-filled rollercoaster ride you have ever experienced. Multiply that by ten. That’s the best way to describe the Wanted experience. This is not just a movie, it’s an amazing adventure filled with action sequences that will make your jaw drop! I’ve never seen a movie with such amazing action scenes. I remember saying “Whoa!” several times as I watched, mouth agape and eyes glued to the big screen.
James McAvoy is terrific as the boring accounting clerk turned assassin/avenger. Angelina Jolie has long since proven her worth as an action hero with movies like Tomb Raider and Mr. & Mrs. Smith. However, in this role, her mysterious quality adds something that makes her performance in this film stand out. Morgan Freeman is his usual classy self in this film. I can honestly say that I have never seen a movie that Morgan Freeman was in that wasn’t good. Wanted is no exception to that rule.
The soundtrack of Wanted was composed by Danny Elfman. I recently received the soundtrack for review and now, having watched the film, I can honestly say that the music he composed for the film fits each scene perfectly. The music is designed to pump up each action sequence and add just a little something to each dramatic sequence. One song with lyrics performed by Elfman himself entitled The Little Things was so catchy that I found myself singing along when it appeared in the film. Excellent job, Mr. Elfman.
Now, if you love the action genre and are looking for something different from your every day action film, Wanted is the movie for you. Car chases, shoot-outs, fight scenes – these have all been seen before, but not on the scale that Wanted has them. Each scene is choreographed to get a “WOW!” out of the audience. Cars flying into trains, bullets curving around things to hit intended targets, explosions on a huge scale - and that's only the tip of the iceberg! You won’t want to take your eyes off of the screen for fear that you will miss something. And for those who like action with a plot – well, this movie has that, too. I loved the idea of how the assassins got the names of their intended victims - lovers of Greek mythology and the Fates will understand why. There’s even a plot twist that you may not be expecting which creates for one hell of an ending! Another thing I loved about Wanted - there are several comedic moments that the average office worker can really relate to. Take it from me, Wanted is one movie-going experience you do not want to miss!