Released in 2008 and directed Timur Bekmambetov, Wanted stars James McAvoy alongside Angelina Jolie and Morgan Freeman, in an action packed thriller based of the comic book series of the same name. Now, let me convey why I believe this performance to rank so low. McAvoy isnt alone in this film in providing a poor performance, but there is a strange contrast in the strength of his performance here and in previous films he's led.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received complaints about the film posters used to promote one of this year’s many comics-based movies, Wanted. Apparently, so the complainants allege, the use of the highly stylised guns and their poses with attractive actors such as James McAvoy and Angelina Jolie ‘glamorised’ the use of weapons and were especially inappropriate when there were concerns about a growth of gun crime in the UK. Universal pictures said they had not been made aware of any concerns by those handling their promotional media and that because of the weapons on show the movie posters had already been restricted and not posted up at locations too close to schools. Is there anyone else here who wants to shake these people and point out that most people – including younger folks – can differentiate between the worlds of fantasy and reality and the few who can’t are likely to be triggered by almost any stimulus, including parts of holy books? Given that every single night sees a firefight between British squaddies and Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan on national news beamed right into our homes, its hard to credit that anyone thinks a fantastical, highly posed movie poster image is going to give kids the idea that violence is acceptable. Surely there are bigger issues to be concerned about? Once upon a time cowboys and Indians was a popular game for school kids to play but most of us didn’t grow up to run around on a horse with a six-shooter stealing native land.
If you can suspend your belief in the insane for about two hours, you've got a lot to love about Wanted. Excellent acting by James McAvoy and Angelina Jolie and an awesome script that little resembles the Mark Millar graphic novel it was spawned from (in a good way!) propel a fantastic story of transformation and revenge forward to it's inevitable, explosive climax. Hired by a secret brotherhood of assassins, a nobody (McAvoy) finds his calling and in the process becomes someone completely different, the man he was supposed to be. Also starring Morgan Freeman, this violent tale should be great on DVD, especially for those with the hi-def rigs. Some camerawork gets a little hectic, especially in the beginning, and sometimes the special effects looks a LITTLE cheezy, but that's simply nitpicking a great overall work by the director of the international sensation Night Watch. If you missed it in the theaters, pick up Wanted when you can, I'll be getting it as a Christmas present to myself!