Tuesday 18th January 2022

Wanted (18)
Directed by: Timur Bekmambetov
Reviewed by: Paul Fonz

One of the foreign films I've most wanted to see in recent years is Night Watch, a Russsian film about vampires that looks visually stunning and has spawned numerous sequels. However, although it looks great, I've never found the time to watch it. Luckily, the director Timur Bekmambetov has made things easier for me this time, by creating a mainstream Hollywood blockbuster that's hard to avoid.

If you see Angelina Jolie looking like this, it means she's about to shoot something
If you see Angelina Jolie looking like this, it means she's about to shoot something

James McAvoy (still "so hot right now", but not as hot as he was last year) and Angelina Jolie (permanently "so hot right now") star in what is essentially a balls out action film with a surplus of style and a deficit of plot. McAvoy plays Wesley Gibson, a bit of a loser who has an office job he hates, a girlfriend who cheats on him and a medical condition that gives him anxiety attacks.

The action explodes onto the screen with the introduction of Jolie's character, aptly named Fox, who wastes no time in dropping cryptic clues about Gibson's father and shooting seven bells out of his favourite supermarket. Improbable but beautiful high speed car chases ensue, followed by the usual guff about Gibson's father being a legendary assassin and him being some sort of chosen one.

Gibson discovers that Fox is working for a band of assassins known as the Brotherhood, who seem to behave like a cult and take their killing orders from a loom, of all things. It sounds quite unfeasible, but so is everything else in the film.

The Brotherhood recruit Gibson and show him that what he thought was an anxiety attack is actually the rare ability to speed up his heart rate and slow down time. The rest of the movie is pretty much made up of montages in which Gibson trains to become the world's best assassin and learns to curve his bullets round objects in physics-defying ways. There are plenty of slow motion shots, car stunts and Angelina Jolie looking sexy. In fact, you can probably count the number of sentences she speaks in the film on two hands, but she does at least look great throughout, which really reflects this film's focus on action and style rather than script or story.

There are some nice attempts at twists and turns in the plot, but ultimately the main characters are quite unlikeable and the ending is weak. It really comes over as a poor man's The Matrix, but as far as a mindless action pieces go, this one comes highly recommended on style alone.

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Length: 110 minutes
Certificate: 18
Official Site:
IMDB Link:
Release Date: 25th June 2008

Top Five Rating: 70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0% (70.0%)
User Rating: 100.0%100.0%100.0%100.0%100.0%100.0%100.0%100.0%100.0%100.0% (100.0%)

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