Reviewed by: Thaisha Geiger
How does viewing violence in movies affect the family? Answer
About murder in the Bible
Why are humans supposed to wear clothes? Answer
Should I save sex for marriage? Answer
Every time you buy a movie ticket or rent a video you are casting a vote telling Hollywood “That’s what I want.” Why does Hollywood continue to promote immoral programming? Are YOU part of the problem?
|Featuring||James McAvoy, Morgan Freeman, Angelina Jolie, Terence Stamp, Thomas Kretschmann, Common, Kristen Hager, Marc Warren, David O'Hara, Konstantin Khabensky, Dato Bakhtadze, Chris Pratt, Lorna Scott, Sophiya Haque, Brian Caspe, Mark O'Neal, Bridget McManus|
|Producer||Gary Barber, Roger Birnbaum, Sally French, Geyer Kosinski, Jim Lemley, David Minkowski, Jason Netter, Marc E. Platt, Adam Siegel, Marc Silvestri, Iain Smith, Matthew Stillman|
“Choose your destiny”
Critics have raved about the film “Wanted.” From its cast’s performance to the new directive approach of Russian director Bekmambetov, the film has been declared a nonstop action ride from beginning to end. Is the cast and cinematography successful? Absolutely! They are both spectacular. Does the film give the audience an action-packed ride? Yes, but sadly it’s a very bloody and profane one at that.
The movie begins by stating that a thousand years ago a group of weavers created the Fraternity. The purpose of the Fraternity was to restore order to the world from all the chaos. The Loom of Fate would send a code on some yarn of who was to die. Once decoded, it was up to one of the Fraternity assassins to carry out the murder.
We are then introduced to poor Wesley Gibson (a magnificent James McAvoy) who knows he is a loser. He works a mind-numbing cubicle job as an accountant. Adding to his misery is his lack of a backbone. He silently takes insults from his overly obese boss and even avoids confronting his so-called best friend who is having a illicit affair with his live-in girlfriend. Too wimpy to defend himself, Wesley, instead, constantly takes anti-anxiety pills. To confirm his bleak, unknown existence, Wesley even goggles himself and unsurprisingly finds ‘0 results’. He continues with his unimportant life until Fox (Angelina Jolie) saunters into his life.
After nearly getting killed by gunfire and a car chase, a bewildered Wesley is told that the father who had abandoned him as a baby was one of the greatest assassins who had ever lived. The Fraternity leader, Sloan (an accurate Morgan Freeman), tells Wesley he does not suffer from anxiety but from supernatural powers. Once he learns to control his powers, it will be Wesley’s job to seek his father’s revenge by killing Cross, the assassin who murdered his father. While Wesley gruelingly endures the Fraternity’s painful training sessions, he finds a new sense of purpose and strength in his life. Confronting all who wronged him, Wesley believes he has found a new home within the Fraternity, but the assassins keep their true motives secretive.
Part of the film’s strength comes from the stunning visual effects. I was reminded of the “The Matrix” trilogy. In slow motion, bullets are shown to bend, move in different directions, and clash together.
Although “Wanted” is his debut Hollywood film, I am sure we will be seeing a lot more films from director Timur Bekmambetov. While the majority of the film is loud, violent scenes, the actors are what really qualifies this film as above average. Having enjoyed McAvoy’s intense performance in “Atonement,” I was amazed at his wide-range acting ability in this film. His American accent is perfect, and his voiced narrations contribute to the believability of his character’s lame existence. His transition from an unknown loser into a confident killer is never doubted. Angelina Jolie almost has a replication of her role as an assassin, as she did in “Mr. and Mrs. Smith.”
Having said that Jolie again has a role as an assassin, the similarities between the two films almost end there. The violence in “Wanted” is off the charts in comparison with “Mr. and Mrs. Smith.” This is one of the most violent films I have seen in a good while. From beginning to end, the movie has a lot of blood and killings. The stunning visual effects and camera angles would make the killings more ‘appealing.’ Blood is still blood, nonetheless. This movie is absolutely not appropriate for children of any age. There are several bullet shots entering heads. The slow-action sequences show the exit wounds and spewing blood. During his initiation into the Fraternity, Wesley repeatedly gets punched, kicked, and stabbed. His face, too, is a bloody mess. Heads and faces are shown blowing off. After shooting a hole in a man’s face, Wesley carries the man’s body with his gun as he continues to fire. Wesley avenges himself for his betraying, best friend by slamming his face with a keyboard.
While the previews show a kiss scene between Fox and Wesley, there is never a romance between the two assassins. The kiss is merely to make Wesley’s ex-girlfriend jealous. The kiss is not offensive when compared to the other sexual material in the film. In one scene, Angelina Jolie shows her derriere while emerging nude from a bathtub. There are also two loud, graphic sex scenes between Wesley’s girlfriend and his best friend.
The profanity is also heavy in the film. I counted about 70 uses of profanities. However, I do not doubt that there is more. I sometimes lost count as the characters would mouth them almost absentmindedly. The “f” word is used in almost every other line.
This movie is anti-God. Fate is the god of this fictional world. Whoever fate decides to kill, the assassins are expected to never question, but to deliver the murder. When Wesley gets his first killing assignment from the Loom of Fates, he does not go through with the murder. He naturally questions the assignment, stating that he does not know his target. Is the man evil? What wrong has he done? Fox condemns this questioning, and Wesley eventually carries out the first of many murders. In short, to be a member of the Fraternity, one has to have complete, blind faith that the code is being decoded accurately.
“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”
This movie encourages its assassins to come to terms with the murderer inside them. Sloan explains to Wesley that he needs to embrace destiny and come to learn “the killer” that is flowing through his veins. By accepting his purpose, Wesley will help fate restore order to the chaotic world. With this false sense of hope, Wesley flourishes. There are countless people in the world who desperately want some kind of mission. The eternal mission of being a follower of Jesus Christ is the only life-saving one. He will be the only one who can and will truly restore peace to the Earth. God only wants the best for His children. And since God cannot lie, I completely believe Him when in Jeremiah 29:11, the Lord said,
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord ‘plans to prosper you, plans to give you a hope and a future’.”
This film plays a deceptive game. It uses visual effects to create the illusion of a fun movie, while countless people are murdered onscreen. I even found myself enjoying the film at times. Are cool graphics ever worth insulting the Holy Spirit? It should never be.
There was much hype over Jolie’s partial nude scene. It is sad how completely irrelevant this scene is to the plot, only adding a lust factor. How many men will be tempted by this, get caught by the bait, and fall into Hollywood’s trap to get their money? I do not recommend this film.
Violence: Extreme / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Heavy
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.