504. Wanted (2008)

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4.7 Painful to watch
  • Acting 5.8
  • Directing 4.5
  • Story 3.7
  • User Ratings (0 Votes) 0

Starring: James McAvoy, Angelina Jolie, Morgan Freeman

Director: Timur Bekmambetov

Running Time: 110 mins


Wanted is an American film about an accountant, an everyday man, who becomes swept up into a ‘fraternity’ of legendary assassins, after he discovers that his father was one of the greatest assassins who ever lived.

If you want to be completely visually abused by a film that is extremely heavy on special effects, shaky cam, stupidity and swearing, then look no further, because this film is a perfect display of a ridiculously over-the-top action thriller that is so much more style over substance.

As for the story, it’s just appalling. Not only is it a hugely formulaic central character of the little guy taken into the big time, it is totally predictable every step of the way. From the start, you see how this man is longing to escape his dull everyday life, and his swooping up by the assassin fraternity is no surprise at all in the midst of the story.

One of the strange things about this film is that although it is incredibly fast-paced, with action every second, it manages to make itself incredibly boring to watch, because you have such a bombardment of violence that seems largely unnecessary in adding at all to the story, that it becomes quickly repetitive and unentertaining.

After that initial set-up, the whole film goes into complete chaos. To emphasise this, there’s one of the most special-effects-heavy, overly shaky cam-y and ultimately preposterous car chase sequences I’ve ever seen, and that left me constantly shouting at the screen, telling the movie how ridiculously stupid it was.

You would assume that all this ridiculousness was just normal Die Hard-like action fun, but somehow, the overwhelming amount of action going on in front of your rapidly weakening eyes makes it unbelievably irritating to watch.

The deeper story about this normal man’s entrance into the fraternity is also not at all interesting. You have so much action before occasional sequences where the film goes all Karate Kid on you, bringing in a subtle, yet seemingly odd and completely pointless spiritual element to the table.

Throughout, it’s pretty much just a competition to see how big a gun they can get Angelina Jolie to carry, or how much slow-mo they can put into an action scene, and it becomes truly dull to watch eventually, as the story rapidly slips into nothingness.

One other thing that confused me was how unnecessarily adult this whole film was. Full of sexual references, a load of swearing and a heap of other problems, this film manages to alienate an audience of kids who would love the fun of an action thriller by making it stupidly X-rated.

And then, just to top it all off, a completely random and unnecessary twist ending is added in at the climax, trying to create some sort of emotional depth within a complete action thriller, and this just made me cringe by the end, especially with the last two lines, both pointlessly containing the f-word, and making everything culminate in disappointment, so that’s why this gets a 4.7 from me.

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About Author

The Mad Movie Man, AKA Anthony Cullen, writes articles and reviews about movies and the world of cinema. Since January 1st, 2013, he has watched and reviewed a movie every day. This is the blog dedicated to the project: www.madmovieman.com