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Review byMatthew Turner25/06/2008

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 111 mins

Brilliantly directed, superbly written and impressively acted action thriller that's bursting with terrific, pulse-pounding set-pieces and will leave you feeling like you've just downed ten Red Bulls in a row.

What's it all about?
Directed by Timur Bekmambetov and adapted from the comic series by Mark Millar, Wanted stars James McAvoy as depressed loser Wesley Gibson, who's routinely humiliated at work and doesn't even seem bothered that his best friend (Chris Pratt) is shagging his girlfriend (Kristen Hager). However, his life abruptly changes when he meets sexy Fox (Angelina Jolie), who rescues him from an apparent attempt on his life and introduces him to Sloan (Morgan Freeman), the head of a mysterious, centuries-old league of supersensory assassins known as the Fraternity.

Sloan tells Wesley that his estranged and recently murdered father was a member of the Fraternity and that Wesley is expected to follow in his father's footsteps and avenge his death. Under intensive training, Wesley discovers that he has incredible reflexes and the ability to bend bullets round corners. But does he have what it takes to face his father's killer (Thomas Kretschmann)?

The Good
Watching Wanted recaptures the excitement of seeing The Matrix for the first time, because Bekmambetov (who made Hollywood sit up and take notice with vampire thriller Night Watch) has well and truly raised the bar for action thrillers. Indeed, most action movies have, if you're lucky, one or maybe two jaw-dropping set-pieces, but Wanted has one literally every five minutes.

The performances are superb: McAvoy delivers a note-perfect American accent and is thoroughly convincing as Wesley, while Jolie compensates for a lack of character development with smoking hotness. In addition, Freeman has a lot of fun messing with his twinkly mentor routine, through the simple addition of some judicious swearing.

The Great
The plot may be ridiculous in places (the Loom of Fate, anyone?) but you won't care because you'll be too busy scraping your jaw off the floor. Terrific final shot, too.

Worth seeing?
Put simply, Wanted is the action movie of the year. Highly recommended.

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Content updated: 22/07/2019 08:08

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