June 12, 2008 (London premiere) June 27, 2008
Wanted is a 2008 comic action thriller film based on the miniseries of the same name by Mark Millar and J. G. Jones. The film is written by Chris Morgan, Michael Brandt, and Derek Haas, is directed by Timur Bekmambetov, and stars James McAvoy, Morgan Freeman, and Angelina Jolie. The story line follows Wesley Gibson (McAvoy), a frustrated account manager who discovers that he is the son of a professional assassin and decides to join the Fraternity, a secret society in which his father worked.
In Chicago, Wesley Gibson works at a dead-end desk job with an overbearing boss, takes anti-anxiety medication for panic attacks, and has an unfaithful live-in girlfriend who cheats on him with his friend and colleague Barry. One night at the pharmacy, Wesley is told by a woman named Fox that his recently murdered father was an assassin, and the killer, a man named Cross, is now hunting him. Cross and Fox engage in a shoot-out with hi-tech guns. Wesley panics and runs into the parking lot followed by Cross who steals a a truck and attempts to run Wesley down. Fox flips Wesley into her car and she then calmly executes a spectacular escape.
Wesley wakes up in the headquarters of the Fraternity, a secret society of assassins. The group's leader, Sloan, explains that Wesley's panic attacks are actually the untrained expression of a rare ability (Assassin Time). Stress can result in bursts of superhuman strength, speed, and reflexes and Sloan proves it to Wesley when, under stress, he is able to perform a spectacular stunt. Sloan wants to teach him to control this ability and become an assassin and join their cause. Wesley is initially panicked and returns to his life. On his way to work the next morning he discovers that his bank account now contains several million dollars. The discovery changes his outlook on life. During a tirade from his boss, Janice, Wesley snaps and delivers a public diatribe. He picks up a keyboard and during his exit, rearranges Barry's face with it. Fox arrives while Wesley is outside looking at newspaper headlines of the previous nights events.
Wesley is trained for his new life, he is trained by The Repairman who teaches Wesley hand-to-hand combat. The Butcher who teaches him to fight using blades. The Gunsmith who teaches him how to weapons and curve bullets. Fox who teaches him agility by running on trains. Wesley also learns how to control his Assassin Time. Wesley is soon shown the Loom of Fate, which gives the names of future targets through errors in the fabric. Those the Loom identifies will apparently cause problems in the future, but only Sloan can see and interpret the loom. Though Wesley is initially reluctant to kill, he is convinced by Fox telling him that in her childhood, a hired killer burned her father alive.
After several missions, Wesley finally manages to leave his girlfriend. He soon has shootout with Cross, where he accidentally kills another Fraternity member, The Exterminator. Cross shoots Wesley in the shoulder. Sloan grants Wesley's wish to avenge his father and sends him after Cross — but then secretly gives Fox a mission to kill Wesley, saying that his name had come up in the Loom as well. Analyzing the bullet that hit Wesley, it is discovered that it was manufactured by a man named Pekwarsky. Wesley and Fox capture Pekwarsky, who arranges a meeting with Cross. Wesley faces Cross alone on a moving train. Fox steals a car and crashes it into the train, causing a derailment. After Cross saves Wesley from falling into a ravine, Wesley fatally shoots him. Before dying, Cross reveals that he is Wesley's real father. Fox confirms this, and explains that Wesley was recruited because he was the only person that Cross would not kill. Fox points her gun at Wesley, but he shoots the glass under him, falling into the river.
Wesley is retrieved by Pekwarsky, who takes him to his father's apartment and explains that Sloan started manufacturing targets for profit after discovering that he was targeted by the Loom of Fate, and did not tell the Fraternity members that they were now nothing more than paid killers. Cross discovered the truth and went rogue and started killing Fraternity members to keep them away from his son. Pekwarsky departs, stating that Wesley's father wished him a life free of violence. Wesley, however, decides to kill Sloan after discovering a secret room containing all of his father's weapons and maps.
After putting explosives on rats to access the Fraternity's headquarters, Wesley kills nearly every Fraternity member. Upon entering Sloan's office, he reveals Sloan's deception to those present in the room. Sloan reveals that all of the assassins' names had come up in the weaving, and that he had acted to protect them. He gives the members a choice: kill themselves, per the code; or kill Wesley. The members are considering breaking the code and killing Wesley, but Fox, who believes more in the code turns on her fellow assassins and curves a bullet that kills everyone but Sloan and Wesley. She throws her gun to distract Wesley, before being killed by her own bullet. During all of this mayhem the Loom of Fate is destroyed, and Sloan manages to escape.
Wesley is left penniless once again. A man is seen at Wesley's desk much later. Sloan appears and points a gun at the back of the man's head. The man turns around and is revealed to be a decoy. Sloan is killed by Wesley using a long-distance bullet. Wesley states his accomplishments saying "this is me taking control, from Sloan, from the Fraternity, from Janice, from billing reports, from ergonomic keyboards, from cheating girlfriends, and sack-of-shit best friends, this is me taking back control of my life", and asks the audience: "What the fuck have you done lately?"
- James McAvoy as Wesley Gibson, a meek 24-year-old who works in a cubicle, but learns he is heir to a career as an assassin.
- Morgan Freeman as Sloan, leader of the Fraternity and partner of Wesley's deceased father.
- Angelina Jolie as Fox, an accomplished member of the Fraternity who mentors Wesley.
- Thomas Kretschmann as Cross, a rogue assassin who has left the Fraternity, and later revealed to be Wesley's real father.
- Common as Earl Spellman a.k.a. "The Gunsmith", a professional gunman who trains others to use weapons.
- Konstantin Khabensky as "The Exterminator", an expert in explosives who makes bombs and attaches them to rats. One of Wesley's only friends in the Fraternity.
- Marc Warren as "The Repairman", an assassin who says he "breaks bad habits" by violently beating people. Trains Wesley in hand-to-hand combat and endurance.
- Dato Bakhtadze as "The Butcher", a knife-expert. Trains Wesley in knife fighting.
- Terence Stamp as Pekwarsky, a master in the science of killing. Pekwarsky operates as a rogue agent outside of The Fraternity. He is also a craftsman who is able to build bullets both untraceable and capable of traversing long distances. One of Cross's compatriots.
- David O'Hara as Mr. X, the first Fraternity member. Said to be the greatest assassin, and believed to be Wesley's father. His murder is the catalyst for Wesley's introduction into the Fraternity. He is killed by Cross.
- Chris Pratt as Barry, Wesley's co-worker and best friend, who is having an affair with Wesley's girlfriend.
- Kristen Hager as Cathy, Wesley's unfaithful and bickering girlfriend.
- Sophiya Haque as Puja
- Lorna Scott as Janice, Janice, Wesley's overbearing boss.
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