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01/04/2009. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts

Buy Wanted in the USA - or Buy Wanted in the UK

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Region 2 DVD: Universal 825 560 5. 105 minute film with extras including a limited edition copy of the first issue of the original comic. Price: 6.99 (UK) if you know where to look. Stars: James McAvoy, Morgan Freeman and Angelina Jolie.

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I came onto the film of 'Wanted' without knowing anything about its comicbook roots and didn't even read the included comic until after I watched it. There are marked differences but only in making little things more palatable to a cinema audience rather than deviate too much from its source material. Whether the same could be said of the entire story I'll leave that judgement to those who own it.

Wesley Gibson (actor James McAvoy) is a no-hoper office clerk, getting along on a stress relieving drug, not caring about too much, including knowing his best friend is screwing his own girl-friend. Guess this must be more typical American than British behaviour. What he doesn't know is his father, who left the day after his birth, is actually a super-human assassin and has recently been killed.

His father worked for a league of assassins called The Fraternity and one of its number, Fox (played by Angelina Jolie) rescues him from the same assassin who got his father. Off his stress drug, he discovers and is taught to use abilities similar to his father and join The Fraternity, develops self-respect, stops being a screwball and unravels just who killed his father and was after him. Anything else would ultimately be spoilers and if I revealed those then I would have to kill you. Purely in the spirit of the film you understand. Nothing personal.

From watching this film its obvious that the entire budget was spent in making one long action film and relying on the performances of the actors to clue the reality with characterisation. Interestingly, apart from establishing that there is a league of assassins, there is little explanation as to why or how they have super-powers in the first place.

I would have thought that if Gibson Senior was powerful enough to jump between skyscrapers, as well as smashing through toughened glass that his general physique would be enough to withstand even the most powerful bullet. Mind you, considering what happens towards the end of the film, maybe it is their only weakness.

If you like action movies with a dose of comicbook SF then you'll find this film fun, in a somewhat murderous way, to watch. The two extras with this DVD show how the set-up for the Viper chase was achieved as well as the preparation for The Fraternity's castle headquarters in Europe. If anything, its surprising there wasn't more extras but I wouldn't be surprised if there was a deluxe version sometime down the line. 'Wanted' is sure to develop a cult following.

GF Willmetts

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