Wanted (2008) - 2-Disc Special Edition

Genre(s): Action / Drama / Science Fiction / Thriller
Universal || R - 110 minutes - $34.98 || December 2, 2008
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2008-12-03


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Timur Bekmambetov
Writer(s): Mark Millar & J.G. Jones (comic book); Michael Brandt & Derek Haas (story), Michael Brandt & Derek Haas and Chris Morgan (screenplay)
Cast: James McAvoy, Morgan Freeman, Angelina Jolie, Terence Stamp, Common


Theatrical Release Date: June 27, 2008


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Extended Scene
  • Cast and Characters
  • Stunts on the L Train
  • Special Effects: The Art of the Impossible
  • Groundbreaking Visual Effects
  • The Origins of Wanted
  • Through the Eyes of Visionary Director Timur Bekmambetov
  • WANTED: Motio Comics
  • Music Video
  • The Making of WANTED: THE GAME
  • Digital Copy


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Widescreen (2.35)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

IMAGE

Based on a popular independent one-shot graphic novel, Wanted stars James McAvoy (Atonement) as Wesley Gibson, a spineless office tool who discovers that his long lost father who abandoned him as a baby was in fact one of the greatest assassins. Unfortunately, his father was killed and now the group that he belonged to recruit Wesley so he may hunt down and kill his father’s killer.

“The Fraternity” is a league of assassins headed by Sloan (Morgan Freeman; The Dark Knight) and includes the sexy Fox (Angelina Jolie; Mr. and Mrs. Smith), Gunsmith (Common; Street Kings), The Repairman (Marc Warren), The Butcher (Dato Bakjtadze) and The Exterminator (Konstantin Khabensky). Wesley undergoes a series of training regiments, one of them being able to curve a bullet around objects among other kick-ass Matrix-like maneuvers.

Wanted is simply a cool movie that doesn’t get pretentious in that it knows it’s cool. It establishes its own fantasy world and plays by those rules and really outside of a lame device known as the “Loom of Life”; this is a solid action flick. James McAvoy is great in the lead role while Angelina Jolie provides the eye candy any good action movie needs to have any success.

What also works is the crisp dialogue by screenwriters Michael Brandt and Derek Haas -- and “Wanted” creator Mark Millar --, it’s got a little Quentin Tarantino/Kevin Smith bite to it but isn’t stilted or out of place in any of the scenes. One moment in the film that you really get this sense is when (SPOILER TERRITORY) Wesley quits his job to start his new life and goes off on his boss. Classic scene and one of the best in a film which has several excellent scenes: stylish and fun.

One complaint other than the stupid “Loom of Life” thing is the, yet again, underutilization of Common, a budding actor who I think is not only talented but possesses a certain screen presence that not many rapper/actors have. Problem is, he’s not in this film too much and even other movies, like Street Kings, he’s not given the opportunity to excel (see Smokin’ Aces for his full potential to be a star).



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Universal is releasing Wanted in a “2-Disc Special Edition” (along with a Blu-ray and 1-disc editions), but all the features are on disc 2, though what’s there isn’t all that memorable...

Extended Scene (1:57) is a singular scene with some extra dialogue surrounding Wesley’s training. Honestly, if Universal wanted, they could’ve added this back in and made this an “Unrated” cut and no one really would noticed/cared.

Cast and Characters (19:57) is your basic EKG featurette where the actors give insights into their characters and explain what the movie is about. Not 100% sure, but I think this might’ve appeared on HBO.

Stunts on the L Train (2:29) – This is a short featurette that goes into how the L Train sequence was shot on the set.

Special Effects: The Art of the Impossible (8:26) and, *takes a deep breath* Groundbreaking Visual Effects from Imagination to Execution (8:05) are two featurettes that go over the effects on the movie and how some scenes were shot. For special effects, it shows off behind-the-scenes footage on how those were shot while visual effects provides info on how certain effects shots were incorporated into the final product.

The Origins of Wanted: Bringing the Graphic Novel to Life (8:04) contains interviews with the cast and crew, including graphic novel writer Mark Millar into how the filmmakers took the source material and translated it onto the big screen.

Through the Eyes of Visionary Director Timur Bekmambetov (9:04) introduced the audience to the Russian director and his style from the cast and crew.

Last are a few throwaway features: WANTED: Motion Comics (13:53), “The Little Things” Music Video Mash-Up (3:35), The Making of WANTED: THE GAME (10:00) and a digital copy for your PC/Mac or iPod.

After certain featurettes, a code is available to use for the upcoming video game.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

IMAGE

Wanted is presented in anamorphic widescreen with a 2.35 OAR. The picture on this is great with colors spot on as the tone of the movie leans very much dark humor so it is a darker movie in spots. I didn’t notice any kind of artifacting or grains/dust or scratches.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 track is good and even though it isn’t a rich sound experience, it does effectively utilize all the channels and provides a nice home theater experience. Given this is an action-driven movie, you will get plenty of gunshots, explosions and car chases but the dialogue is also clear.



.::OVERALL::.

Wanted is a good action flick with a hot female lead and sharp dialogue. Although the special features don’t quite measure up to what could’ve been done the video and audio quality for a DVD is good and is a worthwhile purchase even for general fans.