Based on a series of graphic novels by Mark Miller, WANTED is a fast moving hard R thrill ride that has a few significant bumps along the way although it certainly has a foundation of some solid entertainment value. The film’s first forty minutes are a text book example of setting up a main character that the audience can connect to. That character is Wesley Gibson ( James McAvoy), an everyday office dewb who’s bored with his job, hates his boss and does nothing about the girlfriend who cheats on him. These early scenes are very well established as McAvoy gives the character a real likeability. The tone at this point is both entertaining and funny.
Things take a turn in Wesley’s life when, out of nowhere, a mysterious woman named Fox (Angelina Jolie) enters his life. She’s part of a centuries old group of blood thirsty assassins that recruit him into their highly secretive organization for a reason he could never have suspected. Once involved in the fraternity, things start to meander a bit as Wesley’s training sequences are stretched a little thin, and things become pretty bloody. It’s here that the Walter Mitty feel of the film’s first forty minutes starts to change and its tone becomes something much more aggressive and nasty, a direction the movie maintains throughout the rest of its running time.
Russian Director Timur Bekmambetov (Night Watch) stages some exciting, over the top, MATRIX action sequences that aren’t believable in the context of reality but are wildly entertaining regardless. Morgan Freeman is also on hand as the head of the Fraternity, and he’s a welcome addition, as always. WANTED is a film that badly needed a script rewrite or two to tighten things up and the last two-thirds are never as good as its first act, simply because of the dramatic change in tone. Still, it has enough good stuff to recommend if you like your action movies mindless and violent. Overall WANTED is not as good as it could have been, but it’s still worth a look. Universal is reportedly looking to turn WANTED into a franchise property and there have been reports they are already developing a sequel.
Here’s a look at the trailer to DEATH RACE, a remake of the 1975 cult B movie DEATH RACE 2000 which starred David Carradine and a Pre-Rocky Sylvester Stallone. This version stars Jason Statham of TRANSPORTER fame. The last good B movie to hit theaters was DOOMSDAY. This looks like good fun. Take a look!