Wanted is a fantasy film about a brotherhood of assassins with super
powers. It begins with a contrived and complex assassination battle
happening in high rise buildings between two men who do not seem to be
bound by the laws of physics.
Meanwhile, across town in what seems like another movie, Office Space 2 to
be precise, James McAvoy plays a wimpy cubicle drone who narrates about his loathing for his boss, his TPS reports, his medical
problems, his disloyal best friend, his irritating girlfriend, the
rituals in his office, and his fellow employees.
Imagine his surprise when wussy-boy is suddenly recruited to join the fraternity
of cold-blooded super-killers who know that he, too, possesses super powers. It seems that
all the medical problems which he has been dealing with are not problems
at all, but mistakenly diognosed mutant powers. Instead of taking medication to stop his heart from racing, he
just needs to let it run free, at which time he speeds up so much that the
rest of the world seems to be moving in ultra slo-mo, thus allowing him to
perform uncanny and seemingly impossible feats. He is skeptical of this
explanation until agents
of the brotherhood show him that if he lets his pulse run wild he can
shoot the wings off of flies. Later he learns to curve bullets, and even
to use his bullets to shoot the bullets of other assassins.
Blah-blah-blah ... rogue agent killed McAvoy's father ... McAvoy is the
only one powerful enough to stop the rogue ... he's "the one" ...
but he must be trained ... blah-blah-blah.
None of this is really supposed to make sense.
The members of the brotherhood take their orders from a loom, and
have done so since the middle ages. Who is it that originates the assassination requests
through the magic loom? God? Satan? No, it's apparently "fate." Whatever that
is supposed to mean. It seems to me if "fate" wanted someone dead, it
could probably pull it off without the assistance of intermediaries who
can read encoded underpants. That's only the beginning of the silliness. The
assassins' abilities make little sense and vary from scene to scene.
The assassins always pick the most illogical and difficult means to
eliminate their targets, and innocent bystanders are
not spared. In fact, thousands of innocents seem to get killed in the
course of this film, including every passenger on
a train which plummets into a canyon as a result of the battle between McAvoy and the rogue
Nobody ever mentions civilian casualties. Nobody on either side of the
brotherhood's civil war cares about bystanders one way or the other. They
are as unimportant as furniture.
Now set all that aside, because this film is actually a lot of fun if you
can suspend all sense of disbelief. It's a twisted, tongue-in-cheek
version of The Matrix, all cool attitude and comic book antics. McAvoy is
basically Neo. Angelina Jolie is
Trinity. Morgan Freeman is Morpheus. The bad guy isn't really like Agent
Smith, but he has something very important in common with Darth Vader.
You'll recognize it when you encounter it. So forget the laws of the
physical universe. Forget the inconsistencies in the powers of the
antagonists. Forget the illogic of the plot. Forget the pseudo-mystical
mumbo-jumbo. It's not meant to be taken seriously. Just sit back and let
it wash over you. It's a stylish film with visual flair and a lot of
humor. It entertains.