Wanted, based on the comic book of the same name, was one of the first forays for Mark Millar having his work adapted to the big screen. It also marks James McAvoy's big hollywood breakout. Wanted follows Wesley Gibson (McAvoy), a lethargic loser recruited to an ancient order of assassins (The Fraternity) once he finds out his father has been killed by a rogue member of the organization. Sloan (Morgan Freeman) and Fox (Angelina Jolie) recruit and train Wesley into becoming a full badass who is ready to avenge his father.
Wanted succeeds in its action sequences, which are so over the top, complete with bullets that bend, that you can't help but be in awe of them. Especially memorable are the two major car sequences, one of which involves flipping a car over another so our hero can assassinate his target through the open sunroof, while Andrea Bocelli plays in the background. It's a scene so ludicrous that words can't do it justice but really emphasizes the over the top nature of the film. As far as logic goes, throw it out the window. A magical loom provides the targets for the assassins, and the back story isn't particularly developed, which leads to some big plot holes. Fortunately, McAvoy's character provides a very interesting transformation, from an absolute loser to stone faced killer, and it's relatively believable. He has no idea who he is, and the Fraternity provides a template for him to find himself, even if it is as a triggerman for the fates.
I do wish more time was taken to fully flesh out the characters, as they are all pretty one note, and the most interesting character, Cross, is killed off before we get any truly insightful information about him. There are really cool action sequences, and I was engaged during the film; however, it is a classic "style over substance" piece, which works given its subject matter. The lack of plot coherence does prevent the movie from moving into "great" territory, and we are merely left with a fun and dumb action movie that has some really memorable sequences.
Final Say: Watch It