Most Wanted

1997

Most Wanted

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

15%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 26

40%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 6,241
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Most Wanted Photos

Movie Info

Actor, comedian, and talk show host Keenen Ivory Wayans stars in his own action thriller screenplay about a Gulf War hero who is the patsy in a frame-up. David Glenn Hogan directed this tale of a massive manhunt through the streets of Los Angeles. Sgt. James Dunn (Wayans) is framed for the assassination of the First Lady. Trapped in a conspiracy of revenge and deceit, he must clear his name before he is spotted by the viewers of America's Most Wanted (hence the movie title). Dunn relies on his own survival skills and expert military training to elude those in pursuit, including corrupt Army superiors plus members of virtually every police and government agency. To expose the real killers, Dunn must kidnap an eyewitness (Jill Hennessey) with a videotape of the assassination. But even with the evidience he needs and a hostage complicating matters, he still must deal with a key obstacle-a $10 million bounty on his head.

Cast

Keenen Ivory Wayans
as Sgt. James Dunn
Jon Voight
as Casey-Woodward
Jill Hennessy
as Dr. Victoria Constantini
Paul Sorvino
as Rackmill
Eric Roberts
as Spencer
Robert Culp
as Donald Bickhart
Wolfgang Bodison
as Capt. Steve Braddock
Simon Baker
as Stephen Barnes
Michael Milhoan
as SWAT Leader
Lee de Broux
as Commander Goldstein
David Groh
as TV Station Manager
John Diehl
as Police Captain
Donna Cherry
as First Lady Bonnie Anne Hartfield
Michael Marich
as Omega No. 3
Dave Oliver
as Lt. Scruggs
Eddie Velez
as Sgt. Peyton
Robert Kotecki
as Marine Lieutenant
Rick Cramer
as Bus Guard No. 1
Kenn Whitaker
as Bus Guard No. 2
Tucker Smallwood
as Police Chief William Watson
Mario Vitale
as Bartender
Ping Wu
as Patrolman
Andy Hogan
as Video Tech
Casey Lee
as Randy
Richard Noyce
as Policeman in Hospital No. 1
Jerry Rector
as Policeman in Hospital No. 2
Chris Geier
as Laundry Orderly
Sasha Foo
as Newscaster
Karen Folkes
as Checkpoint Officer
Martin Grimes
as Hot Dog Vendor
Benny Moore
as Man on Street
Kaye Wade
as Grocery Woman
L.V. Sanders
as Gangbanger No. 1
Tito Larriva
as Gangbanger No. 2
Michael D. Roberts
as Homeless Man
Vernon P. Thompson
as Homeless Camp Police Officer
David Basulto
as Library Security Guard
Melanie van Betten
as VA Hospital Clerk
Mitchell Marchand
as Card Player No. 1
Antonio T. Arnold Jr.
as Card Player No. 2
Ernie Banks
as Card Player No. 3
Brian Macon
as CIA Agent
Christine Devine
as Hearing's Reporter
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Critic Reviews for Most Wanted

All Critics (26) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (4) | Rotten (22)

Audience Reviews for Most Wanted

  • Sep 13, 2015
    The professional reviewers don't like this movie as it is just another framed action film. That may be true, but at least it was interesting to watch.
    Red L Super Reviewer
  • Feb 09, 2010
    "Most Wanted," a clever but contrived conspiracy thriller about the assassination of a fictitious First Lady. Wayans plays rogue Marine Gunnery Sergeant James Anthony Dunn whose own superior officer frames him for gunning the first lady down. Actress Jill Hennessey appears as Dr. Victoria Constantini, a Zapruder style eye witness who videotapes the real assassins that shot the President's wife. Before long Constantini finds herself on the lam with Dunn. Despite its clearly imitative nature and its wholly disposable plot, "Most Wanted" contains enough okay action scenes to make the grade. Nevertheless, this standard issue shoot'em up is definitely not the best work of actor/writer Keenen Ivory Wayans. He was more fun in his 1994 action comedy "Low Down Dirty Shame" with Jada Pinkett. Not only does Wayans star in "Most Wanted," but he also penned the screenplay. Wayans cobbles together scenes from every major action flick to create his own film. Shrewdly, he forges a plot around a string of surefire movie scenes that he has rewritten carefully. In the opening scene, Sgt. Dunn refuses to shoot an innocent shepherd boy during Operation Desert Storm. Sgt. Dunn's Commanding Officer threatens to shoot him on site for disobeying an order. They struggle. During the struggle, the officer's gun discharges accidentally and the officer dies from a gunshot wound. Dunn receives the death sentence for murder. During his bus ride to Fort Leavenworth, Dunn is rescued by a super secret anti-terrorist military unit. An evil, redneck Gen. Adam Woodward, alias Lt. Col. Grant Casey (Jon Voight of "Midnight Cowboy") gives Dunn the option to either join his group or die. Reluctantly, Dunn agrees to join and finds himself the designated hitter in an assassination attempt. The unit has targeted shady biochemical mogul Donald Bickhart (Robert Culp of "Hickey and Boggs). At the VA Hospital where Bickhart is greeting the First Lady, Dunn is set up. Gen. Woodward's henchmen kill the First Lady and frame him. Now, the Los Angeles Police Department as well as Woodward's gunmen pursue Dunn. Our wrongly accused hero spends the rest of the movie trying to exonerate himself. The filmmakers pad the action out with a superfluous subplot involving the Central Intelligence Agency. C.I.A. Deputy Director Kenny Rackmill (Paul Sorvino of "Goodfellas") smells a cover-up. He is suspicious because Dunn's description as the assassin was confirmed far too quickly. Dunn calls in the agency, but the C.I.A. refuses to help him until he can find scoop some poop on Gen. Woodward. Meanwhile, Constantini doesn't totally believe Dunn, even after he saves her life from a bomb planted in her house. Director David Glenn Hogan and Wayans have crafted a Kennedy style conspiracy thriller. The heroic sergeant that Wayans plays is the classic loner with either no family or no friends. He qualifies as the ideal choice for the assassin as well as the fall guy. The first scene borrows from the Sylvester Stallone shoot'em up "The Specialist" (1994)" with Sharon Stone. The bus escape scene is straight out of Brett Ratner's "Money Talks" with Chris Tucker. The ebony and ivory combo of an African-American hero and a white heroine recalls the chaste "Pelican Brief" with Denzel Washington and Julia Roberts. Like "The Pelican Brief," Wayans and Hennessy never get the hots for each other and play hide the salami. "Most Wanted" has a prefabricated, trace-the-numbers storyline that leaves little doubt about where the action is leading the characters. There are some really dumb scenes, too. After the authorities have identified Dunn, he strolls into a public library to use a computer. The Dunn character wanders through half of the action without a disguise. In the most original scene, half of L.A. chases Dunn onto a freeway in a Frank Capra like foot chase. Sadly, Keenen Ivory Wayans wants to become the black equivalent of Stallone's Rambo character. He makes a suitable, straight-forward hero, but he's far too dull. Mario Van Peebles would have been a better choice for Dunn. Wayans plays a squeaky clean hero. The reverse occurs when the antagonists are involved. Enjoying a villainous career comeback since "Mission Impossible," Jon Voight conjures up a full-blown portrait of evil. As Gen. Woodward, Voight is a ruthless adversary. Paul Sorvino lends his considerable screen presence as the spy chief to the C.I.A. subplot as does Eric Roberts as his aide. "Most Wanted" squanders both Sorvino and Roberts. "Miami Vice" supporting actor John Diehl shows up in yet another cameo as a police captain. Luscious actress Jill Hennessy is sexy enough, but she never really proves herself either as a heroine or a hot date. "Most Wanted" emerges as brisk, harmless action fodder. Don't dwell on its improbable plot if you want to enjoy it for the mindless fodder that it is. Just sit back and get a kick out of its adrenalin antics. The pizza scene is hilarious and the dialogue on the prison bus is a hoot! Wayans appears to have had the most fun writing in the scene where dozens of blacks with shaven heads crowd the scenes. Another funny moment occurs when a guard mistakes Dunn for another talk-show host and asks for his autograph. "Most Wanted" plays it safe, confining itself to familiar territory, doing exactly what you expect for a thriller of its caliber, and delivering the usual quota of thrills, chills, and spills without offense of any kind. Composer Paul Buckmaster endorses the action with a flavorful musical score, and "Set It Off" lenser Marc Reshovky's murky photography captures the element of paranoia that suffuses this saga. Sgt. James Dunn, who is wrongly accused of assassination of the officer he had a row with, is saved from death row and recruited for top-secret special operations squad led by Lt. Col Grant Casey. Their mission is to neutralize criminals who had avoided conventional law enforcement methods. On his first Mission, James is made the fall guy for the assassination of the first lady and everyone is looking for him and Dr. Victoria Constantini who was lucky to videotape what happened. One of the forces looking for him is military, led by Gen. Adam Woodward, which is in fact an alias for Grant Casey.
    Sergio E Super Reviewer
  • Jul 07, 2008
    One gigantic waxball of cliches, poor acting, horrendous screenwriting, and downright tomfoolery. Even the title sucks.
    Karl V Super Reviewer
  • Feb 01, 2008
    At least that over the top car crash made me laugh. yay.
    a z Super Reviewer

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