WANTED (2008) Film Review
There must be something wrong with me. Being the girly-girl that I am, I enjoy make-up, fashion, hanging out with my girl friends (and boy friends) and having crushes with boys. But the thing about me is, I really enjoy action, crime, thriller films. It’s the inner guy in me that just needs to get out. Don’t get me wrong, I love watching chick flicks. I also enjoy watching quirky-romantic films like Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist and Juno. But there’s something about action thrillers that engage me the most. My top pick will always be V for Vendetta, as well as Iron Man and the Avengers series (because I’m that biased). So its safe to say that Wanted, is something I have enjoyed watching.
I know that 2008 has already been long gone, but I’m trying to expand my horizons when it comes to watching movies. Except horror and gory film categories, those are the types of films that I really hate and you won’t be able to have me lining up for that, or even getting it on DVD. I think the only exception that I can give would be “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo”, but lets save that for later.
The film’s plot is pretty simple and starts off with a young account manager named Wesley Gibson (played by James McAvoy). Now like your typical zero-to-hero, Wesley starts off with a dead-end desk job, an overbearing boss, takes anti-anxiety medication for panic attacks, and has a live-in girlfriend who cheats on him with his best friend Barry. All things began to change when Wesley was buying his medication at a local drugstore and a mysterious woman named Fox (played by Angelina Jolie) telling him that she knew his father, who left Wesley one week after he was born, and he died just a few days ago. Wesley’s father, according to Fox was murdered by an assassin named Cross, who, incidentally was at the same location. Now a series of fighting, car-chasing, gun shooting came this way.
Fox brings Wesley to the headquarters of The Fraternity, a thousand-year-old secret society of assassins. The group’s current leader, Sloan (played by Morgan Freeman), explains that Wesley’s panic attacks are actually the untrained expression of a rare superhuman ability; when stressed, the drastically increased heart rate and adrenaline levels result in bursts of superhuman strength, speed, and reflexes. The Fraternity can teach him to control this ability, so Wesley can follow in his father’s footsteps as an assassin, beginning by inheriting his fortune. Wesley is initially reluctant and returns to work, only to finally snap when discovering several million dollars in his bank account. He excoriates his boss in front of the entire office, and on his way out, smashes Barry in the face with a computer keyboard.
After leaving his work, his girlfriend, he then joins the Fraternity and is trained by a series of assassins, each expert at his own field. Boxing, knife manipulation, and shooting. After he has completed his tests, he was then given an assignment and well basically to make the long story short, he was after Cross. Only to find out that Cross, is actually his father, whom he killed over a series of shooting at a train. Learning the truth about Sloan, who is actually a bad guy, he takes revenge on Sloan for manipulating his thoughts as well as The Fraternity. And the rest as they say, is history.
To be honest, I do have this great appreciation for action, crime, thriller films. I love the occasional violence, gun shooting, wrist and fists in the air kind of momentum. And to be real with you, I did enjoy watching Wanted. It is fast-paced and thrilling, although there were scenes that were very passive, the action packed ending was worth every minute. It also has a mix of the wild side because, there were moments where you ask yourself if a specific scene is possible in real life. Much like Mission Impossible and Die Hard infused into one comedic movie.
I specifically love the effects and the soundtrack that they combined into the scenes. So much so that I didn’t feel asleep in certain aspects. It is the movie version of energy drinks, that gives movie-goers the right amount of adrenaline to keep you watching.
The plot itself is also good compared to non-sense action films nowadays, because it started out as James McAvoy’s character as a loser, like each one of us. But in the end he challenges all of us viewers, “What the fuck have you done lately?” to break into ones’ comfort zone and “taking control” from that dead-end desk job, or that nasty boss you want to shout at. It breaks the fourth wall and positioning Wesley in a way that he taunts us.
The cast is very different. I love James McAvoy for the part of Wesley cause he has that dork-like look. Pretty much, he looks like a young, nerdy version of Armie Hammer but it actually works. Angelina Jolie, of course, like her usual Lara Croft self is still bad ass. And she has this kind of look, where she just stares at you in each scene without saying anything and its perfect! The thing that struck me the most was Morgan Freeman, he played the bad guy in this film. And boy, for me I don’t think Morgan Freeman can ever play as an antagonist. Cause his face and the way he speaks just looks and feels like he is caring, like he is God.