Timur Bekmambetov’s Wanted is simply stunning. And it has to be, because if the viewers aren’t stunned by the frenetically paced action and loud soundtrack, they will see how utterly stupid the story is.
Loosely based on the Top Cow comic book series written by Mark Millar and drawn by J. G. Jones, which had a terrific story that the movie foolishly deviates from, Wanted tells the tale of Wesley Gibson (James McAvoy), a loser who’s aware of what is wrong in his life, but does nothing about it. He has a crappy job with a domineering boss and his girlfriend is cheating on him with his best friend, yet Wesley refuses to make any changes and accepts what fate has to offer him. So, fate comes along in the form of Fox (Angelina Jolie), who appears out of the blue to rescue Wesley from Cross, the man Wesley is told who killed his long-lost father and is now trying to kill him.
After a store shootout and a ridiculous chase sequence that loses all suspense due to the obvious CG work, Wesley is brought by Fox to meet Sloan (Morgan Freeman), the current leader of The Fraternity, a 1000-year-old organization of assassins. Wesley learns that his father was one of their members, which is why he left when Wesley was very young. The Fraternity wants Wesley to go after Cross because Wesley has his father’s gifts but needs to train in many areas first. Wesley needs time to decide, as if there was ever any doubt of which path he would choose.
Another of many false notes is when Wesley is training to manipulate bullets to move around objects. He is having trouble and then Fox offers to risk her life by taking part. Lo and behold, he completes the task.
When Wesley is ready for his first mission, his victim, as with all victims of The Fraternity, is determined by the incorrect stitching of an electric loom, which creates a binary code that spells out names. Eventually Wesley goes after Cross, which provides the viewer with the “great” twist of the story, although considering how many movies have already been cribbed from by this point, it’s not much of a surprise. Plus, once the truth is revealed it causes the previous behavior of some characters to be forced and unbelievable.