Based upon Mark Millar’s explosive graphic novel series and helmed by stunning visualist director Timur Bekmambetov — creator of the most successful Russian film franchise in history, the Night Watch series — Wanted tells the tale of one apathetic nobody’s transformation into an unparalleled enforcer of justice. In 2008, the world will be introduced to a hero for a new generation: Wesley Gibson.
25-year-old Wes (James McAvoy) was the most disaffected, cube-dwelling drone the planet had ever known. His boss chewed him out hourly, his girlfriend ignored him routinely and his life plodded on interminably. Everyone was certain this disengaged slacker would amount to nothing. There was little else for Wes to do but wile away the days and die in his slow, clock-punching rut.
Until he met a woman named Fox (Angelina Jolie).
After his estranged father is murdered, the deadly sexy Fox recruits Wes into the Fraternity, a secret society that trains Wes to avenge his dad’s death by unlocking his dormant powers. As she teaches him how to develop lightning-quick reflexes and phenomenal agility, Wes discovers this team lives by an ancient, unbreakable code: carry out the death orders given by fate itself.
With wickedly brilliant tutors — including the Fraternity’s enigmatic leader, Sloan (Morgan Freeman) — Wes grows to enjoy all the strength he ever wanted. But, slowly, he begins to realize there is more to his dangerous associates than meets the eye. And as he wavers between newfound heroism and vengeance, Wes will come to learn what no one could ever teach him: he alone controls his destiny.
This is one of the most violent films I have seen in some time. Numerous people are shot in the head, knifed, beat to a bloody pulp, and all this happens consistently throughout the 110-minute running length of the picture. It also contains some of the strongest language I have heard in a film. The F word is run together with the name God and Jesus on several occasions. After the screening I heard a man comment to his friend, “That had some really strong language in it.” Yes it does. The story itself is not enjoyable unless people like to see images of blood and constant death. A young man who is going nowhere in his job and has a witch for a boss is targeted to become an assassin. There are a few surprises in store for he and the audience by film’s end, but it is not worth enduring all the violence on screen. This one is as far from a family-friendly film as the east is from the west and we cannot award our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal to it. I believe James McAvoy is a talented young actor but he sure missed the boat with this one.