troperville

tools

toys


main index

Narrative

Genre

Media

Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
random
Film: Wanted
Curve the tropes.

"This is the role Angelina Jolie was born to play. She emerged from the womb already covered in tattoos and eyeliner for the express purpose of playing this character, who immediately entered my pantheon of Chicks I Want to Be Like When I Grow Up. Fox is the reason Angelina Jolie was put on this earth."

Meet Wesley Gibson. Wesley's father abandoned him when he was a week old, and things have gone steadily downhill since. He works for a disgusting boss at a job he hates before going home to a girlfriend who's sleeping with his best friend. But suddenly, Wesley is tapped to join The Fraternity, a league of elite international assassins. He is trained specifically to kill Cross (the rogue Fraternity member who killed his father), mostly by getting the shit kicked out of him by the rest of the team.

Wes learns many plot-relevant skills, including the pretty sweet ability to bend bullets. No, they don't really explain how, and no, they don't really need to. He uses these abilities to take down several nefarious do-badders, until it's finally time to confront Cross. Cue the giant showdown on a moving train... and on a crashing train... and on a falling train. But hey, at least Wesley finally gets his man — or does he?

Of course he doesn't. He just runs headlong into The Reveal, which sets up the real finale. A sequel for the movie is currently in Development Hell according to an official Q&A.

Originally a comic-book miniseries by Mark Millar with little to nothing in common with the movie.

There is a game, Weapons of Fate, that draws plot elements from both the comic book and the film (most notably, Wesley in his original costume and the Russian assassin that serves as a Plot Point in the movie). The game starts shortly after the movie ends, and is notable both for being a sequel instead of a recreation, and for taking a year after the movie's release for development with the explicit goal of not falling into the "rushed product to match the movie's release date and hype" trap. Naturally, opinions vary on the success.

It has now a character sheet! It's in progress, however.


The Wanted movie and game provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Abnormal Ammo: Wesley kills The Butcher by shooting a butcher's steel that jammed into his gun into him.
  • Action Survivor: Wesley at first, before he Took a Level in Badass.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Inverted. The Fraternity in the film adaptation are much less villainous than the Fraternity in the original comic book.
  • Adrenaline Makeover: A rare male, delayed action case in Wesley. He meets Fox, then goes back to his own mundane life. But one snarky remark too many from his Bad Boss sets the makeover in motion.
  • Artificial Intelligence: Inverted. The equivalent of The Machine in Person of Interest is an ancient loom.
  • Ancient Tradition: The Fraternity
  • Anti-Hero: Wesley is mostly a Villain Protagonist, and doesn't really benefit from Sympathetic P.O.V.. He does, however, qualify for Nominal Hero.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The Japanese version uses a song by Breakerz as its ending theme.
  • Apologizes a Lot: Wesley. Lampshaded, and later Subverted.
    Fox: You apologize too much.
    Wesley: I'm sorry about that too.
  • Because Destiny Says So: Played straight, subverted, then played straight. In Weapons of Fate, played heartbreakingly straight with Wesley's mother, and Wesley discusses how absurd he thinks this trope is after defeating the Immortal.
  • Better Living Through Evil: Wesley does this even though he is unaware that the guy he is working for is evil.
  • Big Damn Kiss: Wesley and Fox kiss dramatically in Wesley's old apartment when he goes to retrieve his father's pistol. Bonus points for showing up his former girlfriend in the process.
  • Bizarre and Improbable Ballistics: If the phrase "bullet curving" doesn't say it all, what would?
  • Blood from the Mouth: The Russian bombmaker when he is dying.
  • Book Ends: Using a decoy to get the target onto an "X" marked on the floor.
  • Bullet Time: Used frequently, especially when showing bullet curving.
  • The Bully: Wesley's boss is loud, overbearing, condescending, cusses at Wesley and verbally abuses him, and snaps her stapler in his ear. During Wesley's "The Reason You Suck" Speech, he reveals that she is this way to her entire staff.
  • The Butcher: One of the Fraternity agents has this as his codename (Pussy, pussy!).
  • Car Fu:
    • Fox boards a moving train from the side via car.
    • Wesley is assisted by Fox in flipping of his car to somersault over that of an open-topped limousine that was bulletproof on the sides in order to shoot through the top.
    • In Weapons of Fate, Cross evacuates a crashing airliner by driving a car out the back as it skims a hill.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The exploding rats. Possibly a Shout-Out to Ninja Scroll, considering the same trick is used to down a villain in that movie.
    • The sniper rifle from the beginning of the movie.
    • The El train.
  • Click Hello
  • Cluster F-Bomb
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu
    • Even more obvious in Weapons of Fate, where the enemies, ostensibly members of the French Fraternity, don't seem to know how to curve bullets unless it's one or two Elite Mooks in a quicktime event. It's more glaring than in the movie, as the player will be doing it themselves for the entire game.
  • Contract on the Hitman: At first it's Fox's assignment to kill Wesley. It's then revealed that everyone in the Fraternity had a order against them, including Sloan.
  • Corrupt Politician: At least one target.
  • Concealment Equals Cover: During the grocery store shootout, Fox and Wesley hide behind a grocery store shelf full of cereal while Fox trades gunfire with Cross. Of course, In this case, Concealment was more than enough, as Cross did not want to risk shooting his own son.
  • Cuckold: The beginning has the protagonist Wesley in a relationship with a girlfriend who is blatantly cheating on him with his best friend, and him being powerless to do anything about it.
  • Dark Action Girl: Fox.
  • Dare to Be Badass: Pretty much the message of the movie.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Wesley does this a lot in Weapons of Fate, and it's often Casual Danger Dialog as well.
  • Dissimile
  • Don't Think. Feel: When Sloan teaches Wesley how to curve bullets.
    Sloan: If no one told you that bullets flew straight, and I gave you a gun and told you to hit the target, what would you do? Let your instincts guide you.
  • Expecting Someone Taller: Sloan to Wesley when they first meet.
  • Fanservice:
    • Hell, the Exterminator explodes a rat to wake Fox's sexy ass up and get her out of the bath nude for your viewing pleasure. How courteous.
    • That and the sex scenes where the protagonist's "girlfriend" is cheating on him with his "best friend".
    • James McAvoy. James McAvoy, shirtless. James McAvoy, shirtless and dripping wet. James McAvoy, shirtless, dripping wet, and wearing a leather jacket.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Note to self: check the floor for big X's
  • Gun Kata: And Knife Kata. To give you an idea of the impossible feats performed in the movie...Wesley is first asked to shoot the wings off a couple of flies. And does.
  • Healing Factor: Induced by the pools of wax.
  • Hitman with a Heart: Wesley Gibson tries to be a good guy. He is reluctant to kill someone just because a machine printing out a piece of cloth says so. He wants to be sure they are really bad people before offing them, but gets sweet talked into it by another assassin. Subverted in the original comic: Wesley is a Supervillain who happily rapes and slaughters because as a Supervillain he has the authority to get away with anything he does.
  • How We Got Here
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Played straight with the crazy sniping. Played to an extreme straight with bullet-curving. Weapons of Fate even takes it one step further; bullet curving with submachine guns sets multiple bullets on course to collide with each other when they reach the target, thus producing a frag-grenade effect. The game also has fun with this trope in one cutscene; Cross' Improbable Aiming Skills aren't quite good enough to hit the Immortal, so he shoots his gun down the barrel, blowing it up in his face instead.
  • Indecisive Deconstruction: This movie plays its tropes so straight that it's hard to decide what it's doing. The comicbook that it was loosely based on is a more straightforward deconstruction of supervillains and glorification of violence, as well as the Hero's Journey by turning it into a path towards evil instead of good.
  • In Name Only: The movie takes out almost all of the the original comics story and background. The premise in its most broad strokes stays the same: the main character is a cuckolded loser who is brought into a World of Badass by a love interest due to his long-lost and supposedly deceased father. Beyond that, the story and setting are completely different.
  • Ironic Echo:
    • "I'm sorry!"
    • "I'm the man!"/"He's the man"
  • It's A Small Net After All: apparently no pages on the in-film Internet contain either the words "Wesley" or "Gibson". It's possible this is one of Wesley's self-deprecating daydreams, like when he imagines the ATM is telling him he's a loser. Also, if you do a search for the name "Wesley Gibson" the only pages that show are those related to the movie or appeared after its release.
  • Lost in Imitation: The movie more closely resembles The Matrix than the source material. Which is unsurprising when you consider how hard it would be to adapt the source material into a movie without it being declared unwatchable.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Cross to Wesley.
  • Madden Into Misanthropy
  • The Movie
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Fox and Wesley kissing, to keep on mundane things.
  • Oh Crap:
    • The ending of the movie. Last words spoken by Sloan: "Oh, fuck." * splat*
    • And done in Weapons of Fate, when Wesley realizes his own nightmare fuel has been turned against him.
    • One of the thugs shooting at Mr. X has a moment after Mr. X completes his jump between the buildings. He knows he's about to get his brains blown out of his face before it even happens.
  • Playing Gertrude: Thomas Kretschmann, as Cross, is only 16 years older than James McAvoy, making this a borderline example.
  • Pointy-Haired Boss: Janice abuses, intimidates, and belittles her staff so she feels better about herself.
  • Precision F-Strike:
    • Sloan memorably combines it with an Oh Crap moment for the linked trope's page quote.
    • "Shoot this motherfucker..." (you'd never expect Morgan Freeman to say this)
  • Pretty Little Headshots - Particularly in the finale, but averts the "minor bleeding" considering the bullet holes bleed copiously.
  • Race Lift:
    • In the comic, Fox was modeled upon Halle Berry. In the film, she's portrayed by Angelina Jolie.
    • Janice, Wesley's Mean Boss, got the exact same lift. They even changed the narration from "African-American" to "anorexic" to accommodate this...a nice bit of sarcastic irony since she's obese.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Wesley gives an absolutely epic one to his Mean Boss just before he quits, and to top it off slugs his former best friend in the face with a keyboard on his way out.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Fox follows the code. (A variation since she was just serving an evil man, not evil herself — the same moment contains shades of Heroic Sacrifice and Driven to Suicide.)
    • Although, What You Are in the Dark may trump this. Since Fox had explained that she serves the loom, her choice was to kill everyone Sloan just said the loom named as a target, including herself. If you never went evil, you can't be redeemed, and she had the chance. She just didn't take it.
  • Road Block: The film version has a scene that pretty much exemplifies this trope.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Basically the last twenty minutes. And all of Wesley's levels in Weapons of Fate, too.
  • Rule of Cool: Pretty much the whole freaking thing. It basically takes refuge in audacity.
  • Say My Name: Wesley shouts Sloan's name not once, not twice, but ''three full times'' near the climax of the movie.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Wesley unknowingly became one of these, killing his Disappeared Dad because the Fraternity used him as an Unwitting Pawn — the one person the rogue assassin who was decimating their ranks could never kill. Naturally, he was told that he was hunting the man who killed his father, instead.
  • Shirtless Scene: The scene where Wesley finds out his father's real whereabouts and his saferoom.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Top Gun gets one when Wesley asks if Fox is a callsign, like Maverick.
    • Charlotte's Web.
    • Of course, the whole thing could practically be a The Matrix Shout-Out.
    • All names that come up for assassinations are encoded on quilts, just like how Madame Defarge from A Tale of Two Cities knitted codes on her quilt for her fellow revolutionaries so they would know which of the French nobility was to be executed.
  • Shoot the Dog: Actually invoked with Fox almost going to get a puppy when Wesley wouldn't shoot the corpse of an old woman.
  • Sink or Swim Mentor: Multiple. More like "Swim or get the dogshit beaten out of you".
    • Wesley is this to the player in Weapons of Fate.
  • The Smurfette Principle: The sociopathic female killer-for-hire Fox (played by Angelina Jolie) is the only female member of an ancient fraternity of assassins, and (what else did you expect) the top-ranking member. Sex sells even Strawman Political orgies of violence.
  • Storming the Castle
  • Take My Hand - Wesley's father to Wesley... and then Wesley shoots him, triggering another train collapse.
  • Take This Job And Shove It: See "The Reason You Suck" Speech below.
  • Teeth Flying: When the main character snaps, quits his job and smacks his backstabbing "best friend" on the way out with his keyboard, we're treated to a Bullet Time shot of a series of broken keys spelling out "F.U.C.K.Y.O." with his bloody tooth forming the final "U".
  • Theme Music Power-Up: The moment you hear the Epic Riff from "The Little Things", either shit just went down, or it's about to.
  • This Loser Was You: "What the fuck have you done lately?"
  • Throw Away Guns: Wesley, during his major assault on the bad guy headquarters. Why waste time reloading your gun when you can take the guns from your dead enemies?
  • Took a Level in Badass: The entire movie is basically this for Wesley.
  • Toplessness from the Back: Fox's back coming out of the bath, covered in elaborate tattoos? Oh yes...
  • Training from Hell: Wesley goes through this, regularly getting beaten and cut up, tearing his hands up trying to catch a shuttle in an industrial loom, and enduring verbal and emotional abuse.
  • Training Montage: Used liberally as Wesley tries to make progress, and then begins doing so.
  • The Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer: Wesley Gibson. Pathetic cubicle rat = badass assassin. His "panic attacks" make him look like an absolute loser - when someone starts bullying him, he appears to just blow apart at the seams. Turns out that they're actually the the untrained expression of a rare superhuman ability; when stressed, the drastically increased heart rate and adrenaline levels result in Bullet Time - bursts of superhuman strength, speed, and reflexes.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Fox wouldn't be who she was today, had her father not been burned alive in front of her when she was young.
  • Verbed Title
  • Villains Never Lie: When Sloan tells the Fraternity that the Loom of Fate chose each of them to die, they believe him even though Wesley just told them that Sloan has been manipulating the Loom for his own purposes. Justified; the villain is legitimately in the more trustworthy position. Who would you be more likely to believe, the boss who you've got no actual reason to distrust, or the guy who just shot up half your fortress and killed dozens of your friends, after blowing up the other half?
    • It's also totally Justified in that all of the members in the room had been doing Sloan's bidding unwittingly...meaning they had been killing innocent people that the loom hadn't chosen. Of course the loom would pick them out then.
  • Villain Protagonist
  • Weaponized Animal: The Exterminator makes bombs which he straps to the backs of rats.
  • Wham Line: This is not me following in my father's footsteps. This is not me saving the world. This is not me... This is just the mother-fucking decoy!
  • When You Snatch the Pebble: One of Wesley's training tasks is to snatch the shuttle out of an industrial loom.


TitanicJustForFun/Tropes Examined by the Myth BustersThe Wizard of Oz
Waltz with BashirFilms of 2005 - 2009 War, Inc.

random
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy
46602
33