‘Wanted Man’ Ending Explained & Movie Summary: Did Rosa Survive?

Directed by Dolph Lundgren, Wanted Man is an okayish action thriller revolving around a detective sergeant named Johansen’s efforts to save his career and his reputation after going viral for his racist comments about a Mexican man. Johansen was assigned to bring the eyewitnesses of the shootout, from Mexico to the United States, which could revive his career once again, but everything went wrong when Johansen found himself betrayed by his own people. Let’s discuss the unfolding events in Wanted Man to know if Johansen could accomplish his mission.


Spoilers Ahead

Plot Synopsis: What Happens In The Film?

Wanted Man opened at a nightclub in Silverado County, where some DEA cops were disguised as drug dealers aiming to bust a drug cartel. Still, in the meantime, a group of masked men, who were American cops, orchestrated an attack on them. The undercover cops tried to talk it out with them, introducing themselves as DEA, but the masked cops, who worked for the cartel, shot all of them to death. The club was almost empty, except for two hookers who tried to run away from the club, but the masked cops chased them. However, they were unable to kill the two women, who managed to flee the scene.


The scene shifted to Detective Sergeant Travis Johansen’s life, as we saw him getting ready for the office. Johansen had been going through a lot of trouble lately because a video of him beating up a Mexican man and calling him a “Mexican lowlife” had gone viral. This situation caused a huge stir, jeopardizing his reputation and career. Johansen was backed by the chief of police, Hernandez, who presented Johansen at a press conference and made him apologize for his controversial conduct. However, Johansen was nearing his retirement, but before leaving the department, he wanted to fix his standing, so Hernandez assigned him a job. He described the recently occurring shootout in Silverado County, where some DEA were shot, but two eyewitnesses managed to escape the scene and ended up in Mexico. The Mexican police arrested them for shoplifting, but it was valuable in this case to find out who shot those DEAs. Johansen’s job was to bring those two eyewitnesses back to America safe and alive.

Who Were The American Cops Involved In The Shootout?

Upon his arrival in Mexico, Johansen was well-treated by a police officer who was fluent in English. Johansen had racist prejudices in his mind, but he tried not to express it this time. The officer, taking Johansen along with him, collected these two eyewitnesses, Rosa and Lita, both Mexican women, from the Mexico Police and headed back to the airport, but on their way, a vehicle crossed their path. Two members of a cartel, dressed as policemen, killed the police officer and Lita while shooting Johansen. Johansen managed to kill the two gang members in self-defense and save Rosa’s life. Johansen had no idea that some of the American cops were involved with the cartel, so he called Hernandez and asked for backup. But by the time police reached Mexico, Johansen would bleed out to death. Therefore, Rosa had to take him to her home, where her brother Miguel tended to him. But Miguel, who didn’t have any faith in Johansen, handcuffed him to his bedpost.


Johansen was in recovery, but he continued persuading Rosa to come to the US with him. Rosa didn’t want to leave her family. Rosa finally told Johansen about the police involvement in the DEA shootout, which caused him to worry. Johansen requested to make a phone call, and Rosa permitted him to do so, as, amongst other things, she felt she could trust him. Johansen informed Hernandez about the police involvement as well as the location where they were staying, which was subsequently spread around the entire PD; therefore, the police, involved with the cartel, came to find out Johansen’s whereabouts. Consequently, another attack was orchestrated on Rosa’s home by the cartel members, who killed Rosa’s cousin and injured her brother Miguel. However, it was Johansen who managed to save Rosa’s remaining family and kill those gang members.

Johansen decided to take Rosa back to the US, where she would be given protection. But Rosa couldn’t trust anyone from the US police anymore. She asked Johansen not to contact his PD to keep themselves safe from the police involved with the cartel. Johansen, however, decided to contact his most trusted buddies, who had already retired from the PD. He called one of those buddies, Brynner, who assured him that he would come there with his friends to take Johansen and Rosa back home. The next day, however, when Johansen and Rosa hopped onto their vehicle, Rosa quickly recognized the voice and the bracelets that Brynner had worn. Rosa whispered in Johansen’s ears, saying that these retired cops were the ones who killed those DEA that night.


What Happened To Johansen?

When Rosa and Johansen spent the night together in a motel, the two of them felt a romantic tension between them, but they kept their feelings aside. Rosa confided in him, saying that she had spent a lot of time in her life on the streets of America, living undocumented, so she had learned English and many more things about the American lifestyle. Rosa hoped to get back to the US and live like a regular person, with proper documents. Johansen sympathized with her, even though he was initially a bit racist. He also made some misogynistic remarks about Rosa, but when he realized that Rosa was the one who saved his life earlier, he regretted saying such insulting words to her. He decided to take her back to America safely and make sure that she’d get a better lifestyle there. However, when Johansen finally found out about his most trusted buddies turning out to be the real culprits, he was shell-shocked and confused as to how to give Rosa the protection he had promised her. Brynner had already brought them to a deserted area, where they might have made a plan to kill Rosa and bury her. So, realizing Rosa’s life was in jeopardy, Johansen asked Brynner to pull over. As Johansen confronted Brynner and one of his most trusted friends, Adam with the truth, Brynner pointed his gun at him. Adam talked to Brynner because initially, they decided not to kill Johansen and bring him back to America, but Brynner went against it, which led to a brawl between Brynner and Adam.  As Brynner accidentally shot Adam to death, Rosa jumped onto him, trying to beat him up. Johansen, however, managed to kill the remaining guys and save Rosa’s life. Taking Rosa along, an injured and bleeding Johansen sought the help of the Mexican police, who eventually helped the two of them safely travel back to America.

During Wanted Man‘s ending, after saving Rosa’s life, Johansen managed to salvage his reputation and career. Rosa finally became a legal US citizen and started her life afresh. One day, she came to meet Johansen, who was still gradually recovering from his wounds. The two of them greeted each other, but both of them knew that they wanted more than just being friends with each other. Therefore, summoning the courage, Johansen made the first move and asked Rosa out for a coffee date, and Rosa happily agreed to the proposal. In the concluding scene of the film, it is hinted that the two of them might pursue a romantic relationship together.


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Poulami Nanda
Poulami Nanda
Poulami Nanda hails from a medical background, yet her journey is to cross the boundaries of medicine and survive in the cinematic world. The surrealistic beauty of cinema and art has attracted her from a very young age. She loves to write poems, songs, and stories, but her dream is to write films someday. She has also worked as a painter, but nothing attracts her more than cinema. Through her writings, she wants to explore the world of cinema more and more and take her readers on the same ride.

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