Insanely Ridiculous and Insanely Fun
The entire film can be summed up in two words: sheer insanity. How insane are we talking? Think exploding rats and looms of fate. Director Timur Bekmambetov has taken a breath – albeit a very short one – between now and in 2004 when his too-frenetic-to-comprehend NIGHT WATCH was unleashed on the world. The film features some of the most mind-bending action seen on screen in years; people are thrust inside moving cars and bullets bend around obtrusive objects, but Bekmambetov is quite successful in taking all these wild elements and combining them into something even vaguely understandable. Even the most ridiculous occurrences – say, a person jumping out a skyscraper window and making it to the building opposite – are acceptable in Bekmambetov’s abnormal vision of Chicago.
Wesley is an unusual hero, and so it only makes sense for an unusual action star to appear. Coming off his acclaimed turn in last year’s ATONMENT, McAvoy adds another diverse credit to his resume. Just as Wesley molds himself, McAvoy molds himself into a small bottle of fury, dorky and passive at first but intimidating when he unleashes himself. The amount of pain Wesley goes through during training is so extensive and genuine that even the hardest of viewers cannot help but cringe. McAvoy keeps the film grounded; without such an atypical performer coming into his prime, WANTED would become too ridiculous and far-fetched to be a success.
WANTED is definitely unlike anything we’ve seen before. The exhilaration and suspense is such that cannot be adequately described. Walking the fine line between frenetic and nonsensical, the film is a roller coaster ride from start to finish with little time to let up or take a breath. Without a doubt, some will find it too much; too violent, too ridiculous and over-the-top, too nonsensical. But this exercise in over-the-top filmmaking is not without merit. It’s insane, yes. But it’s damn fun.