DVD Review: Wanted

Over the last decade nearly every action movie has been compared to one film that stands taller than them all, The MatrixThe Matrix didn’t just revolutionize special effects in movies, it re-invented them.  It turned every notion of the action genre, and flipped it onto it’s head.  Many movies have tried to imitate what The Matrix accomplished, but they would usually fall short.  However, in 2008, one action movie would come closer to it’s sheer greatness than any other.

Wanted is the story of fulfilling your destiny.  Wes Gibson (James McAvoy) is a regular cubicle rat.  He comes to work everyday, does his job, and leads a boring mundane life.  He has anxiety attacks, his best friend is sleeping with his girlfriend, and he can’t stand his boss.  Then one evening he is greeted by Fox (Angelina Jolie) and his life is changed forever.  Fox introduces him to The Fraternity.  The Fraternity is a group of assassins lead by Sloan(Morgan Freeman) who try to keep balance in the world by killing those whom fate deem unfit to live in society.  As Fox would tell Wes, “Kill one, save a thousand.”  Wes would learn that his estranged father was a member of the Fraternity, and that he had been executed.  They would then embark on giving him the tools he would need to avenge his father’s murder. With twists and turns around every corner, Wanted will give you a thrill ride, without ever leaving your house.

McAvoy (Atonement) is perfect as the lost soul, turned blood thirsty assassin.  He brings a depth to the role, that others may not have been able to bring.  Jolie (Original Sin) is dazzling as the mysterious Fox.  The rest of the supporting cast is fantastic in fleshing out this world of mayhem and ruthless violence.

Director Timur Bekmambetov (Night Watch) has crafted a world of violence rarely seen in action movies. Based on the graphic novel, Wanted shows us a world where violence isn’t just the answer, it’s the only solution.  The effects, while not revolutionary, are fresh and spectacular.  Wanted takes “bullet time” to a place The Matrix was afraid to.

The DVD I reviewed was the standard single disc edition.  It just featured the movie, with no special features other than subtitles.  The video was great, every detail of each bullet flew off my screen right through my living room.  The shining feature of the movie though, was the audio.  Wanted is perfect for anyone seeking a great demo disc.  I have a 5.1 Dolby Digital setup, and it sounded great, so I can only imagine how great it sounds on a 7.1 system.  Anyone who is a serious fan of the movie (and I’m sure there are plenty of them) should shell out the extra money for the two disc set, as I’m sure the features would satisfy your need for more of this fantastic movie.

While not reinventing special effects in action, as The Matrix did, Wanted proves a worthy movie for anyone’s collection.  The effects are great, the action is thrilling, and the story is a fresh spin on an old tale.  Wanted will leave you wanting more, yet tired from the roller coaster that you just stepped out of.  I’d give it a 4 out of 5.

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