Wanted tells the story of Wesley Gibson (James McAvoy), a downtrodden accountant with a dead-end life. His overbearing boss treats him like crap and he won't stand up to her; he knows his girlfriend is cheating on him with his best friend but he won't do anything about it; his father ran out on him days after he was born; and he gets an anxiety attack at the slightest piece of excitement.
All this changes when he gets caught up in a gunfight at his local drugstore and is abducted by the beautiful Fox (Angelina Jolie) who tells him that his father had just been killed on the roof of an office block and that he was a member of The Fraternity, a secret society of assassins. Fox and her boss Sloan (Morgan Freeman) tell Wesley that a rogue agent is killing the members one by one and that he has the power within him to stop this killer and avenge his father's death. They also tell him that his anxiety attacks are a sign that he is one of them and that his body can operate at a much higher metabolic rate when required.
Wesley eventually accepts his destiny and joins The Fraternity, eschewing his past life, job and girlfriend, but things are not as straightforward as he thinks and perhaps Fate has played him a twisted hand!
Wanted is based on the comic books by Mark Millar and J.G. Jones and as such a certain amount of belief suspension has to be taken for granted. These assassins have what amounts to super powers and they do what they do at the orders of Fate itself. None of how all this is possible is explained so don't try to fathom it out as you never will.
As for the movie, it's a roller-coaster ride of high-speed action that delivers on pretty much everything it tries to be. MacAvoy is excellent as the anxiety-ridden, downtrodden and frustrated office worker character and just as believable as the super-charged assassin he gets turned into. Morgan Freeman is, as ever, the consumate manipulator and Angelina Jolie adds the much needed female touch to this testosterone enriched plot. Not that Fox is anyone's fluffy bunny and she's just as lethal as any of them.
Wanted has been compared to The Matrix and there are parallels between Wesley and Neo and those characters' path from ordinary Joe to super-hero as well as the link between Trinity and Fox. The special effects are very well done and there are some excellent shots of bullets curving through space and colliding in mid air, a traing crashing over a bridge and of course, the exploding rats.
Wanted is a brainless action romp that's very watchable. It has enough pace to keep you wanting to see where it's going and a bit of a twist in the tale as well. Worth catching if you like action movies.
Genre: Action, Thriller
My Rating: 7/10