Wanted (2008)

wanted poster 2008 movie angelina jolie james mcavoy
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Fun action film

Wraps up a bit too nicely

Movie Info

Movie Name: Wanted

Studio:  Marc Platt Productions

Genre(s):  Action/Adventure/Comic Book

Release Date(s): June 12, 2008 (Premiere)/June 27, 2008 (US)

MPAA Rating:  R

wanted bullet bending angelina jolie fox

Bend It Like Beckham!

Accountant Wesley Gibson (James McAvoy) hates his life. His girlfriend Cathy (Kristen Hager) is sleeping with his best friend Barry (Chris Pratt), and he can’t stand his boss Janice (Lorna Scott). When Wesley learns that the father who abandoned him as a child was part of a league of assassins called the Fraternity and run by Sloan (Morgan Freeman), Wesley discovers he has a gift for killing…once he finds it. Now teamed with Fox (Angelina Jolie), Wesley is on the trail of the man who killed his father and out for vengeance, and the Loom never lies.

Directed by Timur Bekmanbetov, Wanted is an action-adventure comic book adaptation. The story was a six issue comic book series by Mark Millar and J.G. Jones which ran from December 2003 to February 2005. It received mixed to positive reviews but a strong box office return.  It was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Sound Mixing and Best Sound Editing.

Wanted was at the onset of the big comic book movie revolution. It was a non-Marvel and non-DC film and wasn’t really marketed as a comic book adaptation as much as an action film. It really feels more like a comic book film at times, and fans of the comic book wave of movies might want to revisit it.

wanted 2008 james mcavoy chris pratt fuck you meme

…and a meme is born

The story feels very similar to Mark Millar’s other comic books that have been adapted into movies. It has the real world feel of Kick-Ass, and the “guy thrust into something he doesn’t understand” feeling of Kingsman. Despite being pretty stylized, it is probably the least stylized of the three films and the most like a standard action movie (minus the Loom and the bending bullets). It does feel like the movie wraps up the story a bit too nice and neat at the end despite being rather open ended.

The cast is good. James McAvoy is young and surprisingly believable both as a pencil pusher and an assassin which is key to believing his character. Angelina Jolie seems to be the Angelina Jolie character who is mysterious, coy, and deadly. It feels like the character isn’t much different than many of her other characters. Morgan Freeman is wise (of course), but it is nice to see him flip on his normal character. The film is also noted for the early Chris Pratt appearance which of course created a meme and a gif.

wanted wesley gibson james mcavoy

Wesley now is a kick-ass assassin (not be confused with Kick-Ass or the Kingsmen).

The movie looks great. The whole premise of the film with the uber assassins and their skilled marksmanship provides a rich environment for visuals. You have train riding, bullet shots, and a style that has a little bit of Fincher’s Fight Club…it isn’t necessarily original, but it is put to good use.

Wanted is a fun movie that kind of fell to the wayside. It has a small cult following, but the plans for a sequel never got off the ground. The movie still could find a sequel and a Millarverse crossover between Kick-Ass, Wanted, and Kingsman could be a fun idea. Until then, James McAvoy is just bending bullets like Beckham in this entry alone.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

Leave A Response