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Wanted More at IMDbPro »

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598 out of 1038 people found the following review useful:

WANTED: The Matrix with a great sense of humor.

9/10
Author: uniiq from United States
18 June 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I am a huge fan of Mark Millar's Wanted. And so, when I entered the theater with a friend on an advance screening pass (comic book store owners are very nice people to befriend), fear gripped me. It HAS to suck...right? It's Hollywood...and a "loose" adaptation...

And so, once the credits rolled, and I was one of the many people laughing and clapping, the fear had long passed.

The films works. It provides the amazing opiate of style and dark humor, and in such massive quantities that both evoke the spirit of the source material and utterly ignore the latter 90% of the graphic novel. But that independent streak works for Wanted. You feel a sense of amused wonder and curiosity throughout, and all the plot twists that follow are different enough from the source to actually hold your attention without ever being prematurely obvious.

James McAvoy does an excellent job, and his wry, sarcastic narration sets the mood of the film perfectly. His evolution from pansy to Neo has a genuine and pleasantly arrogant feel to it, although the stereotypical Rocky-esquire training montage is used to speed things up a bit (what a tiresome tool). Basically, his version of a cinematic Neo is both smarter, more entertaining, and more intelligent.

Backing him up, more with sexy looks and an "I'm too cool for you; you're not Brad" attitude than anything, is Angelina Jolie. Her character screams Trinity. And loudly. Regardless, watching her on-screen is a pleasure. She's terribly likable, and extremely lethal throughout.

Morgan Freeman's Morpheus, called Sloan here, is played well, although the role is a bit beneath his skill as an actor. He makes it work though, playing the wizened and mature helper very well. More importantly, he delivers an excellent (and unexpected) line that rivals Samuel L. Jackson's memorable expression from Snakes on a Plane. That alone makes any price of admission worthwhile.

Any other character serves as nothing more than white noise, there to populate the world rather than intrigue.

The theme of Wanted is all about taking charge of your life and making your own choices, something that the very premise of the first hour of the film both adheres to and contradicts. Rather than analyze it here (and waste time arguing the pleasantly mad logic of a movie where bullets bend stylishly), I'll leave that to the people who inevitably will, assuming the bullet-fu and gore don't completely captivate them (and they should). Wanted IS violent, truly, and yet it doesn't strive to turn every frame into a gory, action-packed orgasm. The film handles it with grace and a style I sorely wish more action movies took into consideration.

As bullets curve, heads get punctured, hilarity ensues, and rats explode (peanut butter rocks, BTW), you'll smile besides yourself.

This really isn't a superhero comic adaptation...it's The Matrix with a great sense of humor.

Enjoy it.

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370 out of 591 people found the following review useful:

Can I get my money back?

1/10
Author: tyler4837 from United States
28 June 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I was a bit apprehensive about this film from the previews and commercials, what with the bending bullets and all, but I figured with all of the action movies trying to outdo each other...maybe there would be a good story backing it. However, in the opening sequence, when a man leaps several hundred feet to slay some assassins on another rooftop before being aced out from miles away, I started to lose any hopes for a good movie. Then any further hopes were dashed when it was revealed that a magic god loom delivers a binary code that says who is to be killed (how the frat discovered binary and secondly, that the people named were to be killed is beyond me, maybe god/fate/whatever wrote to them in binary on the first sweater that was and told them to kill the named ever thereafter) This whole god/fate (fate being spelled out when the explosive rat truck hit the mill door) loom thing really blatantly pointed out the problems with dogmatic, irrational beliefs that can be found running rampant throughout our society; but speaking of that society, it's a shame to think that most people will be unable to find that point because it was buried behind quack gimics and special effects. This movie made Crank look like the Godfather. Aside from the absurd story backing why the frat was assassinating people, all of the stunts were merely an attempt to outdo movies like crank with time/space bending cg that makes anyone who has any inkling of what physics are want to cry. If the time-slowing gimics were cut from the movie, I think it would have maybe passed 30 minutes of film time. I could maybe understand the rapid heartbeat to be able to react quicker to things, modeled after a fight or flight type of response on crack or something, but the bullet bending thing got to be a little too ridiculous by the end where a bullet can be fired around a 20' circumference and have the same gun tossed to someone else before the bullet returns from its 360 degree trip to kill the shooter...I mean, really? I really wanted to walk out of the theater about 30 minutes into this film. There isn't enough room in this comment box to enable me to voice the downfalls of this film. However I feel as though I must include this side note on society as well. On top of whole fate and immovable beliefs tangent from above, the fact that movies like this can go over well in America is a great example of how dumbed down culture is making us...Oh let's make an action movie with a loom that dictates who should live and who should die...oh yea...and the assassins can bone physics with no rationale as to how...It truly made me sick. "What luck for rulers that men do not think." - Adolf Hitler. It's understandable how we get leaders like George W Bush when movies like this are not only accepted, but admired. Now if you will excuse me, I need to read my binary sweatshirt for what to eat tonight.

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327 out of 519 people found the following review useful:

As Dumb As It Gets

Author: magicmark from United States
28 June 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The last line of this movie asks, "What the f-word have you done lately?" If you didn't immediately answer, "I just spent two hours watching a really dumb movie" then you must be an easily impressed video game enthusiast. Some interesting visuals aside, it's movies like this that give the term "comic book movie" a bad reputation. Unexplained gravity defying flipping cars, curving bullets and rat bombs just push the envelope too far in to the land of the absurd. The easily spotted plot turn does help but the rather uninspiring cartoon action just sinks it. Too many "WTF?" moments in both the action and the plot to enjoy this movie unless you really relate to a frustrated nobody stuck in a dead-end job and you want to fantasize about becoming an assassin. I can't figure out what was worse, the few Matrix type rip offs or the bizarre Rocky type killer training session? Also, how did they manage to make Angelina Jolie so unattractive? Not only does she look anorexic but add in the God awful tattoos and there is NOTHING sexually appealing about the character.

Ridiculous, un-inspired action mixed with possibly the dumbest plot of any movie this century means Wanted is one to avoid at all cost.

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245 out of 373 people found the following review useful:

Yawn...Sigh

5/10
Author: Alan Chamberlain from United States
28 June 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Like so many modern Hollywood moves "wanted" looks and sounds great but is a poorly conceived and written and is ultimately not a good movie. It's another in a long list of movies that is technically excellent but uninspired and unfulfilling.

What killed the film for me was that it was utterly ridiculous from top to bottom. From the opening scene you think you are watching something like the "Matrix" but the movie never gets around to explaining how these assassins attain superpowers. If I could train hard for a few months getting the sh*t beat out of me and bathing in krispy kreme sugar and somehow develop superpowers to defy all know laws of physics, I would get started right away. It wants to look and feel like reality, but unlike comic book movies like "Ironman", it asks you to swallow way more implausible nonsense than you may be able to stomach. In fact, "Ironman" looks like a documentary compared to this noisy, overdone "rollercoaster". I did not know going in that the movie was based on a comic about superheroes and supervillians. They should have committed more to that...there effort to make the movie "real" just made it a sloppy mess.

So it's a fantasy film that I found difficult to get into. The action is well done, the effects look great, but its another case where you are lucky not to have an epileptic fit by the first hour from all the flash cutting and gimmicks. Half the movie is in bullet time.

And then of course there is the loom, which is just a retarded concept and in the face of everything else, I found myself rolling my eyes. If they had spent half the time they spent on effects working on the story, we would all have been better off.

James McAvoy does his best with what he's given and its his performance that keeps the movie from slipping even further into the abyss. Jolie is always great but not given much to do here but look sexy...

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282 out of 464 people found the following review useful:

Far-fetched, guns and blood

2/10
Author: MAShead07 from United Kingdom
27 June 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This film is saturated with absurdity, in an attempt to wow audiences with special effects they have already seen countless times in the likes of Die Hard and Bourne. Nothing new in this film, just a number of Hollywood cliché's, including the sob story told by a narrator in the third person, which ultimately turns out to be their own sob story, and even the Star Wars idea of the central character seeking to avenge their father's death, only for the villain to say "No, I am your father".

The rest of the plot comprises of special effects, absurdity (laughing AT not WITH the film), excessive blood and shooting and swearing and achieves nothing by doing so. James McAvoy totally lets himself down in this role- he was brilliant in "Last King of Scotland", but doesn't do himself justice as soon as he starts speaking in a pretty naff American accent. His character isn't that believable, and his excessive swearing makes him more unrealistic, instead of realistic. The rest of the cast, including veteran Morgan Freeman, are paper-thin characters, which also lets them down as actors. As the characters die, it is difficult to be upset as you barely know them or sympathise with them.

Although there were some interesting twists in the end, they fail to salvage a film that's only purpose was to try and lure people in with mindless violence, blood and bad language with very little substance. The script is also quite poor, like many modern action films. In my view, this is trying to outdo Goodfellas in violence, bad language and blood, but otherwise would fail miserably in competing on the scale of quality and credibility. A further demonstration of unoriginality in Hollywood film-making.

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211 out of 332 people found the following review useful:

Very weak!

1/10
Author: raypdaley182 from Coventry
2 July 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Suspend all disbelief. There's not a single element of realism in this movie & it's a very sad attempt to try & make a comic into a movie then failing badly as the source material clearly wasn't strong enough.

I'd normally class Morgan Freeman & Angelina Jolie as a good cast but sadly they've got awful roles. The script itself is truly dire, based on a comic I've never read or heard of ever.

Basically we're in a world of superhero assassins where their abilities are right out of The Matrix. The film borrows heavily from things like Bulletproof Monk (I don't actually think there's a single original idea in the whole movie) and viewers are expecting to suspend way too much belief.

The film has too much action (yes, you read that right! Too much!) and suffers in the same way Bad Boys 2 did, just having action scenes for the sake of it because there was no plot or script to follow so they'd just engineer an action sequence for no reason at all than seeing the hero or the other assassins use their magical powers.

We're following Wesley Gibson, a nobody who is dragged into the world of the assassins and trains to become one to kill the man who killed his father. Except thats not the case, the man he kills IS his father and the guy in charge of the assassins (Morgan Freeman in possibly his worst movie role ever) has started to create targets for his own profit.

The film is truly awful, ignore the plot because it's nonexistent. Enjoy looking at Fox (Angelina Jolie) until she decides to kill herself near the end of the film. Terrance Stamp is woefully underused & his character could have done much more.

If you can ignore the ridiculous special effects, CGI and over the top action sequences then you might get a bit of pleasure from watching this. Personally I hated it and if you've seen the trailers then you've seen the best bits of the movie as it really doesn't get any better than the trailer.

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209 out of 333 people found the following review useful:

Clunky script gives this action film no chance

4/10
Author: nicbarber from United Kingdom
27 June 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I am a massive James McAvoy fan since his Shameless(UK) days, so was a bit iffy on how he would transfer to an action movie. Despite a fair performance from him (even if his American accent is hard to believe and turns back to his native Scottish every now and then), my friend who dragged me along apologised profusely once the film had finished. Here's some of my problems with the film.

1.) The Script. If the script was good, I'd be able to get over the lack a story line. It started poor, I was hoping for an upsurge, but it never came, making Jolie,McAvoy, Freeman (and the rest, including the guy from Hustle (UK) -what was his point?) just look daft.

2.) The first 20 mins, at least, is about how the main guy's life is crap. In the matrix, this lasted about 5 minutes before getting into the action.

3.) All McAvoy does in the 2nd 20 mins is scream!

4.) How much slow-motion does one director need? even the kissing scene? really!

5.) The Twist really is cringeworthy - you can tell that the script read: Cross- "Wesley, I'm your father!" Before they realised that George Lucas had already used that line, so they had to quick-change it to "You're my son!"

One redeeming feature - you get to see Morgan Freeman say 'Kill that Mother-F****r. I always knew he was Samuel L Jackson in disguise!

Action wise, it's good if a bit unbelievable, (but that's what films are for...) and the special effects are OK. Shame about the script...

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176 out of 293 people found the following review useful:

Ultra-brutal action posing as entertainment

1/10
Author: lothd from Bangkok, Thailand
27 June 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Mindless action films abound and can be fun. This is not a mindless action film, but its "mind" caters to nerdy dreams of becoming a more-than-human being. Wouldn't we all like to suddenly have $3.5 million in our bank accounts, tell off our extremely annoying boss (is there any other kind?) and get trained as an ultra-assassin? Then just shoot everybody they tell you to or have a quick case of conscience, then shoot them - cool? Not.

One scene is ripped straight from "The Matrix" series of films and the overall feeling is overwhelmingly Matrix/Terminator. Perhaps it's overoptimistic to look for something new in a movie of this type, but there's hardly anything original. This is not a film the world needs now - or ever.

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158 out of 261 people found the following review useful:

Ridiculous

1/10
Author: theoneeggy (theoneeggy@gmail.com) from California, United States
30 June 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I watched this movie the other day, and I was actually quite excited. However, I was quickly turned from this opinion within the first 30 minutes of the movie. It got progressively worse until the ending, starting with the mass-murder/suicide and then the replay - revenge hit at the end of the movie. This ending was simply painful. Morgan Freeman is killing his career with movies like this. I appreciate the writers ability to adapt graphic novel to the big screen, but in all honesty this has to be the worst comic book or graphic novel movie ever. Save yourself the time and do something that will at least stimulate your brain: READ THE BOOK, forget the movie

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337 out of 621 people found the following review useful:

To The Extreme

8/10
Author: whlrguy from United States
20 June 2008

I just got back from an advanced screening of Wanted. I have to admit not being a fan of the Director, Tim Bekmambetov. Somewhat disappointed in his Russian Films Nightwatch and Daywatch. However, in his American directorial he delivers!! An abundance of profanities and over the top action sequences that are beyond xtreme fill the screen in a dizzying array of visual adrenaline. Holding you in a tight breathtaking grip with its interesting visual techniques, humor and acting. James McAvoy (the sweet faun from the Chronicles of Narnia) plays the loser we all know, Wesley Gibbon. The guy, who just trudges through life allowing himself to be walked upon, humiliated and has no desire to escape it, except in a bottle of anti-anxiety meds. Enter a beautiful Woman, Fox (Angelie Jolie), a mysterious wise man Sloan (Morgan Freeman) and his life instantly changes from Billing Reports to Gratuitous Violence, Mastering Weaponry Skills, and Assassination. Believe me when I say what the Matrix introduced, Wanted has mastered. The director is a skilled artist at using the camera in conveying visual emotions of Wesley like I have never seen before, wait I take that back, seen it in NightWatch. I definitely recommend this deliberately humorous, action packed, violent, profane, to-the-extreme film to be seen on the big screen - check this one out!!

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