Loosely based on the comic book miniseries of the same by Mark Millar and J.G. Jones, WANTED, directed by Timur Bekmambetov, follows anxiety-prone office drone Wesley Gibson (James McAvoy) as he is inducted into the Fraternity, a clan of powerful killers that counted his father as a member. Pursued by rogue agent Cross (Thomas Kretschmann), Wesley is trained by the sleek, sexy Fox (Angelina Jolie) and the charismatic Sloan (Morgan Freeman), among others, to be just as proficient and deadly as his father. Once Wesley becomes a master assassin, he must confront Cross, and contend with the stunning ramifications of that encounter.
Straying rather far from the WANTED comic's supervillain-centric premise, WANTED runs with the edgy Eastern European aesthetic of Russian helmer Bekmambetov, who garnered international recognition with the stylish vampire epic NIGHT WATCH. While Jolie is a gleefully destructive presence in her action-heavy scenes, the film belongs to McAvoy, who transforms from milquetoast to manhunter with verve and charm. And like the similarly themed THE MATRIX before it, WANTED also showcases some eye-catching special effects, most notably in the loopy concept of "curving bullets." Though devotees of the WANTED comic may be dismayed with the many liberties taken with the story, the movie is undeniably energetic and entertaining, making it fun summer blockbuster fare.
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