Wanted (2008) **

Rated: R
Runtime: 1hr 50min
Director: Timur Bekmambetov
Stars: James McAvoy, Morgan Freeman, Angelina Jolie
Genre: Drama
Language: English

Don't bring Granny!

In a Nutshell


Straight as an Arrow

Sound Quality

Easy to Hear

Who's That?

Few Main Characters

Naughty Words


Naked people




Why coast through life when you could be killing people? This is the very question 25-year old Wes (James McAvoy) grapples with following his abduction by The Fraternity, a thousand- year-old secret society of assassins. His life up till this point has not been overly successful: he’s stuck in a dead-end office job as an Account Rep, there’s $14.00 in his savings account, and his girlfriend’s busy boffing his best friend. Whenever his cartoonish foul-mouthed boss starts tormenting him, he swallows mouthfuls of meds just to quell his ensuing panic attacks. No question but Wimpy Wes seems doomed to a life that would drive Dilbert crazy, but look, suddenly there’s an alternative.The Fraternity’s assassins are quite busy offing people based on orders from Sloan (Morgan Freeman) who gets his orders not from tea leaves but from coded instructions woven into the tapestries in his textile mill, instructions, he says, that come straight from “Fate.” His right-hand assistant, the gorgeous Fox (Angelina Jolie) and several other assorted thugs apprentice Wes to their bloody trade. He takes a licking, that’s for sure, but emerges a villain - or is it avenger? His motivation to urn from ordinary Joe Schmo to amoral assassin? Well, it turns out his father was a high ranking member of the society and was recently killed by a renegade named Cross. And let’s not forget the super power he’s inherited which allows him to be a formidable opponent and/or weapon of destruction.

So revenge is what this movie is all about or is it? To make sure we get the picture, six people are whacked in the first ten minutes: bullets to the head, or in and out of the head we should say. Ditto for the final scene. Basically the audience has to sit through almost two hours of beatings, knife fights, endless car chases, train crashes, buildings exploding, people exploding - in a word, havoc. And by the way we are still trying to figure out what the title means. (We know what we wanted: reprieve!)

The acting is uninspiring, which includes the great Mr. Morgan Freeman, who must be bored out of his mind playing the same old role again, and Ms. Jolie, a zero totally lacking in emotion or depth. Only Mr. McAvoy shows any acting ability in this one; he’s buffed up for the part and is somewhat appealing in his initial confusion though ultimately unconvincing.

Although this is one of the bloodiest action films you are likely to see, the film does share with other films of this ilk some incredible special effects (even better than those in the recently released Iron Man); but special effects and the terrific stuntman/woman work (I think there were at least 30 stunt people listed in the credits) doth not make for a good movie.

What’s the perfect audience for this action thriller? Personally, we shudder to think of impressionable youth watching a film that glorifies being a sniper/assassin. But if you’re an action junkie and glory in super SFX, it’s your move (especially if you haven’t yet had your fill of ultra violence for the season)!

Shelly Hanner, a retired government executive, is honored to be reviewing for this site, and wants everyone to know his teeth are his own. Janet Garber, a human resources executive and published author, has been living with Shelly's corny jokes for some time now, and her only escape is going to the movies!


Wayne D. said on July 1, 2008


Don’t think I’ll ever see this one. I like Morgan Freeman, he was excellent in The Bucket List, but I seen the trailer for this one and too much violence for me, I see enough at the supermarket I go to! As for Mrs. Pitt, I don’t think she has ever been in a good movie yet, at least any that I have liked. And her record looks like it is still kept intact with this one. Good review of a stinker.

Anonymous said on July 2, 2008


Thanks for the candid review. Freeman must need the money to accept a role such as this. I agree Jolie is not much of an actor.

Erlend said on December 5, 2012


Timur positions heimslf only as a person who was born and raised in Sovietefbbbf Union, not Kazakhstan and Russia. Plus, I think Russians have all rights to call him Russian, because only there he was given all the opportunities and chances to develop his business. In Kazakhstan, nobody paid attention at him. V kazakhfilme ego y prinimat ne hoteli. Plus, he got his experience and education in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. So, I have difficulty seeing how he is Kazakh, because he does not accept heimslf as one

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