The anxious, clumsy and abused office clerk Wesley Allan Gibson has a hell and boring routine life: his obese boss humiliates him all the time and his girlfriend betrays him with his colleague and best friend during working period. When he meets the sexy Fox, Wesley is informed that his father was a professional killer that belonged to an ancient organization called Fraternity and killed by the skilled and powerful Cross, a hit-man that has betrayed the Fraternity. Wesley learns that his anxiety actually is a manifestation of his latent abilities and he joins the society under the command of Sloan. Trained by Fox, he changes his personality and attitude, being prepared to face the dangerous Cross and find a hidden secret.
A frustrated office worker learns that he is the son of a professional assassin and that he shares his father's superhuman killing abilities.
"Wanted" is one of those movies I was kinda hoping would be a little better with the passage of time. And after eight years, that's a resounding no. There were a lot of things that were awful about this movie back in that theater seat in '08, but one thing that really bothered me was the story's beat-for-beat ripoff of "The Matrix". McAvoy's reconditioning is more violent than Neo's, but it's all there regardless. It's pretty blatant.
The movie is pretty hard to stomach, even having been reared on a diet of shallow action movies. "Curve the bullet" has gotta be one of the stupidest things I've ever heard, and the movie gives no good reason to accept it. C'mon, if you're going to steal bullet-time, at least give me something to go on; don't just shoot physics the bird.
But even today, "Wanted" is a rotten reminder of how bad action movies could be in the 2000s. It's got that tweaked style that feels more like a bludgeon than a thrill, and a garish look to really seal the deal. To trot out the Matrix comparison one more time, it's got none of that film's artistic sensibilities, which would've helped this go down so much easier.
3/10 The only interesting parts of this movie are in the trailer, if you've seen the trailer then don't waste your time and money. The plot of this film was by far the worst I've seen in years. The acting wasn't bad, however the writer should be beaten for even thinking this was a great idea. The actors should fire their managers for even bringing this to them and then hide out long enough for everyone to forget this movie. If you do decide to waste hours of your life, make sure you leave the kids at home. The language and random sex scene are not for even teenagers. There were several parents who brought their kids to this movie. There is a reason the movie is rated R. Not as dark as its source material, Wanted works exceptionally on its own terms. McAvoy crashes the A-list, Jolie finally gets to be as big a star on screen as she has been in print, and Bekmambetov proves the most exciting action-oriented emigré since John Woo. Wanted is loosely based on a comic book miniseries of the same name by Scottish graphic novelist Mark Millar, with art by J.G. Jones, published in 2003 and 2004 by Top Cow as part of Millar's creator-owned line known as Millarworld. American screenwriting partners, Michael Brandt and Derek Haas, adapted the comics into the original screenplay, which was revised in part by screenwriters Chris Morgan and Dean Georgaris. Wesley Gibson (James McAvoy) and the Fox (Angelina Jolie) have made the transition to film largely unchanged, the only major differences being their appearance (Wesley being originally modeled on Eminem, and the Fox on Halle Berry). Wesley's boss, girlfriend and best friend are also largely unchanged. However, as the main plotline of the comic books (in which all of the main characters are actually supervillains modeled on DC characters) has been altered, many other characters were re-imagined or cut entirely from the film, examples being: (1) Dr. Solomon Seltzer (a short, bald super-scientist and friend to Wesley's father) becomes Sloan (Morgan Freeman); (2) Mr. Rictus (an evil, ghoul-faced murderer) becomes the assassin Cross (Thomas Kretschmann) and is also referenced in the film as an assassin killed by Cross; and (3) The Killer (famed assassin and Wesley's father, modeled after Tommy Lee Jones) becomes Mr. X (David O'Hara). There are significant changes from the comic book.
- Perhaps the most significant change is the underlying purpose of The Fraternity. In the comic, The Fraternity are a secret group of supervillains with an array of powers and they behave as supervillains would be expected to: committing crimes and killing people. In the movie The Fraternity is a secret guild of assassins who work to maintain order in the world by assassinating evil people. The film portrays them in a far more positive light than the book.
- The book is far more vulgar than the movie and revels in pushing boundaries of taste in terms of violence and sexuality. In the book characters talk much more matter-of-factly about topics such as murder, rape, pedophilia, and bestiality.
- The backstory of the film is entirely different from the book. In the comic a group of supervillains murdered all the superheroes and erased their existence from reality. In the film a group of medieval weavers-turned-assassins founds the Fraternity to maintain order.
- Most of the characters were wholly invented for the film. While Fox and Wesley make the transition largely unchanged Wesley's father is almost completely different from how he was portrayed in the book, Mr X, Sloan, The Russian, and the Gunsmith (Common) are complete inventions. The Repairman (Marc Warren) is an expansion of an unnamed character who appears in a few panels in the book, and The Butcher (Dato Bakhtadze) is created from a scene in the book where Wesley himself is sent to work in a slaughterhouse to help desensitize him.
- The plot is dramatically changed. While the introduction and Wesley's training are very similar the plot of the comic involves intrigue between different factions of super villains while the film deals with the efforts to apprehend one rogue assassin. In addition the film focuses far more on Wesley's quest to avenge his father. While the book version of Wesley is interested in knowing who killed his father it is not a driving aspect of his character.
- Scenes of Wesley's training are greatly expanded in the film.
- The film version of Wesley is considerably nicer and more sympathetic than the comic version.
- The film includes far more moral conflict about the nature of what The Fraternity does than the comic book.
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