“WANTED” – The movie that got robbed.

by Curtis L. Isom – Founder/Editor-In-Chief

The last adult movie I reviewed was Wicked Pictures, “Underworld” shortly after I stated Erotic World Media.  I looked over that review before I wrote this review, and I will admit I have to redo my ratings system from 5 stars to 10 stars because as a lover of movies, I need a wider range to give credit where credit is due.  I also think I was being a bit generous in my review of “Underworld” and need to revise it’s rating when I give my final thoughts on “Wanted”.  The reason I’m reviewing “Wanted” is that at the 2016 AVN Awards, it won best Best Drama and Best Soundtrack, but when the award for Movie of the Year came up, that went to “Peter Pan XXX: An Axel Braun Parody”.  But what got my attention, and of those in attendance, was when Axel Braun was accepting his award for Movie of the Year, he stated that he thought “Wanted” was going to win.  WOW.  So I had to see “Wanted” for myself.

Now before I go any further, I will say I’m a fan of the older style of adult movies where most of them tried to at least tell a story while throwing sex into the mix.  The problem I have with the majority of the new styles of adult movies is that they try to throw in some sort of a “story” while cramming the screen with sex scene after sex scene.  It’s like there’s no respect to the art of making a movie which is why I don’t take the time to watch a lot newer adult movies in general.

With that said, “Wanted” contains everything a good western should: cowboys, indians, good guys, bad guys, gunfights, action, treachery, and love.  I’m not going to tell you everything about the story “Wanted” tells, but enough to wet your whistle.

“Wanted” takes place in 1879 in Diablo City, Arizona.  It starts out as the tale about brothel prostitute Joanna (Anikka Albrite) who is bestowed a gift of land by an ailing Frank Garrett (Jay Crew) who dies shortly after sex.  Falsely accused of his murder, Joanna is stripped of her gift and sentenced to immediate hanging by the Diablo’s Sheriff (Steven St. Croix). As Joanna is dangling by the hangman’s noose, she rescued by another outlaw woman Dani (Stormy Daniels) and her sidekick Birdie (Amber Rayne) in an ensuing gunfight.  Riding out of town, the outlaw woman trio is joined by the wounded Lilah (Allie Haze) and Frank Garrett’s assistant Samuel (Eric Masterson) who knows about Joanna gift.  Angered by the escape, the Sheriff enlist the help of bounty hunter Morgan (Brendon Miller) to catch the women while the sheriff ties up any loose ends.  As the outlaws rides across the countryside, Samuel splits off to seek help from the territory’s Marshall while the other’s seek to get help for the wounded Lilah from a group of Birdie’s Apache friends.  As the women continue their escape we learn why Dani is on the run and what connects her to Morgan.  Morgan eventually catches up to the women, but is convinced to wait on his reward while Joanna’s name is cleared.  Samuel rejoins the group who then decide to follow the map to Joanna’s land gift.  Upon reaching their destination they are met by the Sheriff’s gang and another gunfight breaks out.  Who survives the gunfight?  What is so important about Joanna’s land gift?  Does help from the Marshall arrive?  Will Morgan turn Dani in and collect his reward?

To answer these questions, you have to watch “Wanted”.

For an adult movie, I found the acting solid and filled with “heart” which made it easy to stay interested in the movie.  What is amazing is to know the outdoor shots were done in temps usually over 100 degrees which you think would make the cast cranky, but I learned that “Wanted” had the rare distinction of being a “drama-free” set which means the drama stayed on the screen on not off it.  I liked the approach taken in filming the sex in that the camera wasn’t in the usual constant “close-up mode” which feels like your invading the performers “personal space” more than necessary.  Instead the sex is presented with more of the surroundings included which created a more overall sensuality to the action.  The movie’s nine sex scenes make up over half of three hour run time  of “Wanted”.   I’m not a big fan of long running adult movies, but “Wanted” kept my interest and I could see a soft core version of it being made and not lose the movie’s effect. The screenplay of “Wanted” is simple and straight forward with little bits of humor that I found refreshing.  Technically, “Wanted” is a period piece that the Art Direction by Kyle Ireland and Andy Appleton is outstanding and deserving of an award.  The 2016 AVN Best Art Direction award went to: “Batman v Superman XXX: An Axel Braun Parody, Wicked Comix”.  I guess easy use of CG and green screen are preferred over the hard task of keeping everything period correct in a movie like “Wanted”.

From my theatrical experience, there were a few minor “issues” I noticed in “Wanted”, but I’m a movie fan and I tend to pick up on things others miss.  Remember “Wanted” is an adult movie and the “issues” I noticed are more technical in nature and did nothing to deter you away from being interested in the film.  It is a fun, sensual film that I see as Stormy Daniels’ “magnum opus” and anyone involved in the making of “Wanted” should be proud of the finished product.

Which brings me to why I titled this review: “”Wanted” – The movie that got robbed”  In my opinion, and in reality, awards are often given based on politics and not on merit.  I’m not taking anything away from “Peter Pan XXX: An Axel Braun Parody” which won Best Parody and Movie of the Year.  A good film by what I’ve seen of it.  I have to admit I thought “Batman v Superman XXX: An Axel Braun Parody, Wicked Comix” should have gotten Best Parody partly because it won Best Screenplay.  I’m not knocking Axel Braun’s work, but when Axel himself (who is an editor on “Wanted”) states he thought ” Wanted” was going to win, then you really have to wonder why besides winning Best Drama, “Wanted” didn’t also win Movie of the Year.  I think “Wanted” was “robbed” of being Movie of the Year because of industry politics and not judged on the movie itself.

But again, it is what it is and life isn’t always fair.  On a positive note, “Wanted” did get the XBIZ Feature Movie of the Year-XBIZ and NightMoves First Choice Award.

In rating “Wanted”, I have to give it 9.25 out of 10 stars.  The few, little “technical issues” I noticed keeps it from getting a perfect 10.  Comparing the previous reviewed “Underworld” to “Wanted”, “Underworld” has it rating revised to 8 out of 10 due to the issues I stated in my review of it which I stand by.  And these ratings are based on comparing each film without the sex scenes.  I still recommend “Underworld”, but I found “Wanted”  a more cohesive and better movie.  Besides those mentioned previously, “Wanted” also features Jodi Taylor, Cassidy Klein, Mai Li, Channel Preston, Dick Chibbles, Tommy Gunn, Ryan McLane, Brad Armstrong, Lucky Starr as well as other extras and a great technical crew.  Again, everyone involved in the making of “Wanted” has a movie to be proud of and I highly recommend seeing.

I hope to review more adult films in the future as time allows, but now it’s time to saddle up and hit the trail.