Wanted

PLOT:

The film opens with a mysterious man, identified as "Mr. X", under attack from a half a dozen hitmen from the top of the building across the street from the skyscraper he is currently standing in. He focuses intently, runs at supernatural speed down a hallway, and soars through a window and across the divide between the buildings, gunning down all but one of the killers in the process, one of whom is hiding behind a structural pillar. Mr. X eliminates him by performing a seemingly impossible shooting technique which defies physics and causes the bullet to manuever (curve) around objects in its path. After killing the last would-be assassin, Mr. X answers the ringing cell phone of one of the hitmen and chides their client for "sending sheep to kill a wolf." The man on the other end of the phone casually states the hitmen Mr. X has just slain were simply decoys, intended to maneuver/place him in the exact spot he currently stands. Mr. X is then executed by a clean shot from behind emerging from his forehead; the scene is played backwards and the unusual bullet is followed to its point of origin, several miles away, where the sound of the assassin’s shot is drowned out by a passing train.

We are then introduced to a young man named Wesley Gibson, who works at a dead-end desk job with an overbearing boss, takes anti-anxiety medication for panic attacks, and has a live-in girlfriend who cheats on him with his best friend. During one of his trips to the pharmacy, Gibson is told by a mysterious woman named Fox that his father (implied to be Mr. X) was an international assassin who was murdered yesterday, and the killer, a man known as Cross, is standing directly behind Wesley. Cross and Fox engage in a shoot-out followed by a car chase in the streets of Chicago. Fox brings Gibson to the headquarters of the Fraternity, a thousand-year-old secret society of assassins. The group’s leader, Sloan, explains that Gibson’s panic attacks are actually the untrained expression of a rare, unexplained superhuman ability; when stressed he has drastically increased heart rate and adrenaline levels that result in bursts of superhuman strength, speed and reflexes. The Fraternity can teach him to control this ability, so Gibson can follow in his father’s footsteps as an assassin, beginning by inheriting his fortune. Gibson is initially reluctant and returns to work, only to finally snap when discovering his online bank account balance is over 3 million dollars. He tells off his boss in front of the entire office and on his way out, hits his "friend" in the face with a keyboard. Fox is waiting outside to take him back to the Fraternity headquarters – an unassuming textile mill.

Gibson is then subjected to brutal training; among other forms of combat, he learns to curve bullets fired from smoothbore firearms around objects. Afterward, Gibson is shown the “Loom of Fate”, a loom that mysteriously dispenses the names of the Fraternity’s targets through binary code hidden in weaving errors of the fabric. Those the loom identifies are apparently destined to cause tragedy in the future; Sloan’s singular task within the Fraternity is to find and interpret the targets selected by Fate. Gibson is initially reluctant about killing people he doesn’t know on the word of a loom. Then Fox reveals that in her childhood, a hired killer burned her father alive in front of her — and said hitman’s name was dispensed by the Loom, only to have the assassin assigned to the target balk at the last second. She considers that preventing such tragedy is now her mission. “Kill one person, potentially save a thousand.”

After two routine missions and a chance meeting with Cross, in which Cross shoots Wesley in the arm with a deliberately traceable bullet, Gibson becomes impatient and demands to be allowed to avenge his father. Sloan grants his wish, saying that Cross’s name had finally come up on the loom, but then secretly gives Fox a mission to kill Gibson, revealing that Wesley’s name had come up as well. Analyzing the bullet that hit Gibson, it is discovered that the manufacturer was a man named Pekwarsky, a bullet-maker that lives in eastern Moravia. Gibson and Fox travel there and capture Pekwarsky, who arranges a meeting with Cross. Gibson faces Cross alone on a moving train. Fox steals a car and crashes it into the train, eventually causing a derailment when the train reaches a bridge over a deep ravine. The train filled with people then plummets into the ravine, killing all aboard, save Fox, Cross, and Wesley. After Cross saves Gibson’s life by preventing him from falling into the ravine, Gibson mercilessly shoots his saviour. Before dying, Cross reveals that he is Wesley’s real father. Fox confirms the truth and explains that Gibson was recruited not because his inherited skills would allow him to kill Cross, but because the only person that Cross wouldn’t kill was his own son. Fox then reveals the kill order on Gibson and raises her gun, but Wesley escapes by shooting out the glass underneath him and plunging into the river below.

Gibson is retrieved by Pekwarsky, who takes him to his father’s apartment, located just across the street from Gibson’s old home—Cross was always "only a camera-click away", as Pekwarsky states showing the photos Cross kept of Gibson since childhood. Pekwarsky explains that Sloan started falsely manufacturing targets for profit after discovering that he himself was targeted by the Loom of Fate, and didn’t tell the Fraternity members that they were now nothing more than paid killers. Cross discovered the truth and went rogue, and started killing Fraternity members to keep them away from his son. Pekwarsky departs, stating that Gibson’s father wished him a peaceful life free of violence. Wesley, however, decides to take out Sloan after discovering a secret room containing all of his father’s weapons and maps. Gibson makes a clever and imaginative plan to unleash an army of rats with bombs strapped to them in first, so as to not have to deal with too many assassins, though his journey through the textile factory is still unbelievably dangerous. Upon entering Sloan’s office after killing nearly every Fraternity member, he reveals Sloan’s deception to the master assassins present in the room, including Fox. Sloan then reveals that the names of every single assassin in the room had come up in the weaving, and that he had merely acted to protect them. Were they to follow the code, every one of them should kill themselves on the spot. Otherwise, they should kill Gibson. Fox, who believes in the code more than anyone due to her own experience, turns on her fellow assassins, and "curves" a bullet that kills every Fraternity member in the room, including herself. Sloan manages to escape.

Wesley, penniless once again, does not know what to do with himself. While he provides a voice-over, the audience sees Wesley at a computer in an office, searching the internet for his own name, much as he did at the beginning of the film. Sloan appears from nowhere and points a gun at back of his enemy’s head. At that moment, the man turns around and is revealed to be a decoy. Sloan is then killed by Wesley using a long-distance untraceable bullet, exactly in the manner that Cross killed Mr. X in the prologue. Similar to the comic, the film ends as Wesley turns to the camera and breaks the fourth wall, saying, "This is me taking back control of my life. What the fuck have you done lately?”

REVIEW:

My goodness was it so good to get to action going this weekend! After watching the drama Little Children and the chick flick Bride Wars, I’m in need of something a bit more my speed.

Wanted is based on a comic, but I had never heard of it until the film came out, so I can’t tell you how close or far from the source material it strayed. I do know that Fox is supposed to be African-American, though. For some reason they felt the need ot change her to Angelina Jolie. Quite honestly, I understand they wanted the big name, but I don’t think it affected the box office performance one way or the other. Of course, now that I think about it, they did make sure to have the scene with her getting out of the baths in the trailer, which may have drawn in many a horny male.

This film is primarily action with dialogue and plot second. This is totally out of character for me, but I think we could have done with a bit more story as opposed to action. I say that becuse many of the scenes were just rehashes of stuff we’ve seen earlier or they had no real reason to even be there.

A friend of mine really liked this film, but couldn’t handle the violence. For me, it wasn’t that violent, sure a couple of people got shot in the head, but there are plenty of more violent films out there. I should preface that by saying, I don’t cringe at violent films and my friend is really on the conservative side when it comes to her movies. I’m surprised she sees anything not rated G.

The acting here isn’t anything to write home about, but they do what they can do. James McAvoy isn’t your typical leading man, but he seems to know what to do as a leading man. Angelina Jolie was obivoulsy cast for her looks, becuse she doesn’t do much in the way of acting. Although, the car chase scene when she first appears is pretty awesome. Common could have done with a bigger role, in my opinion. Morgan Freeman can do no wrong. The man can read the phone book and leave an audience captivated.

Rumors have recently picked up steam that there will be a sequel. I have my own personal issues with sequels. I don’t despise them like I do remakes and reboots, but I’m of the belief that if you’re going to make a sequel, especially with a comic book movie, you better make sure that the fans are happy and from what I’ve read, not all the fans were happy with this. Hopefully, they’ll get their heads out of the sand and listen to the people that pay to see the thing, thus paying their salaries.

This is my kind of picture. I don’t love it as much as I do other non-stop action flicks like Crank and Shoot ‘Em Up, but it is still pretty good. Th action scorns are complemented with a little it of plot here and there that are necessary so that thing doesn’t go off in the direction of a mindless killing spree. There are some intense moments, but for the mos part, its just fun, adrenaline-laden , action.

4 out of 5 stars

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4 Responses to “Wanted”

  1. Sorry I’m a little late – I wasn’t around earlier. But I wanted to say happy 1 year blog birthday, sugar. xoxo

  2. […] I’m not fan of Angelina Jolie, but she does do a decent job with this character. More importantly, she looks more human and not like the skeleton she was in Wanted. […]

  3. […] some stick with an allegedly pretty face. Yes, I’m talking about Angelina Jolie in stuff like Wanted and Salt being the stick and comparing her to Gina Carano here in Haywire. When this film was […]

  4. […] cheekbones. I joked with a friend a little while ago that had this been made around the time of Wanted, they may not have even had to do that. Casting Jolie was not only good to bring people into the […]

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