Wanted is a straight up action flick that does everything in its power to keep the stunts, explosions and gunfights on the screen as much as possible, and does so very well. Unfortunately there are the occasional moments where explanations are in order, and this is where the movie falls on its face. The story in Wanted is rather…well crap, and no matter how cool Morgan Freeman is or how many sexy ways Angelina Jolie kills people its still rather unsalvageable. The last 15 minutes of the movie are pretty rough but at least wrap up the whole mess in a relatively interesting way. Wanted, is without out a doubt very entertaining and never falls into the boring category at any point. (There are moments where you will wish it would just get back to the action though.)
Secret assassins, superhuman abilities that are never explained, and a bizarre logic system behind all the killings really make this one a little tough to swallow. These inexplicable characters and scenarios do put on a good show though! Some of the car chases and stunts are terrific though and can best be described as the Fast and the Furious meets the Matrix. Shooting a bullet out of the sky with another bullet is now the new way to defend yourself against an attacker. Failing that escape in a supped-up sports car and leap it over 100 cop cars and drive off on top of a tour bus. If you get hurt don’t worry about it, you can go back to your assassin clubhouse and take a bath in magic wax-water that will heal you. Unless you get shot. Apparently that wills even these people, which is decidedly inconvenient considering they shoot at each other a lot. – Yeah I know its ridiculous, but seeing all this stuff on the screen is very entertaining.
The lead character is played by James McAvory and could have bheen played better by…well anyone. Not that James does a bad job, but more so because his performance is extremely forgettable. When your lead is on the screen for over 50% of the movie and I can’t remember what his face looked like the day after seeing the film, I think it’s safe to say ‘forgettable’ fits my opinion of the guy. Jolie and Freeman do their part well, but the fact that they are support and don’t drive this thing really does point out the weak casting of the lead.
Wanted is refreshingly R-rated. The F-word and bullets are tossed around like they where free and it really works for the film. The violence is gory, but not over the top, and the pacing is tense and action packed as a result. I do think they are a tad too flippant with civilian casualties however. An entire train of passengers falls to its painful demise after a car chase that mutilates 15 or so civilian vehicles, and our characters don’t bat an eye. Being that the whole movie is about revenge for someone being killed, it does seem a tad odd that a thousand or so innocent bystanders are not even noticed. So yeah. Wanted is a mixed bag for sure. Lots of action and cool moments, and all done at a very R-rated level. But poor casting and unexplained ridiculousness defiantly way it down.