"Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?" -- Paul to the Corinthian church (2 Corinthians 13:5)
Wanted stars James McAvoy as Wesley Gibson (an insecure guy who learns to be an assassin like his father), Morgan Freeman as Sloan (the Fraternity's corrupt leader) and Angelina Jolie as Fox (she trains Wesley so she can manipulate him later on).
The members of the Fraternity fail to question their faith-based system, which opens them up to dedicating their entire lives to a lie. One man, Wesley's father, dares to question the system, but Sloan quickly casts him out and turns the rest of the Fraternity against him.
Lesson: It is necessary as well as healthy way to test your worldview. Humbly investigate your beliefs in relation to reality. Maintain a no-nonsense, reality-based spiritality.
As a whole, Wanted communicates an extremely shortsighted worldview. By the end of the movie Wesley seems successful because he gets what he wants... but he's still just as self-centered and childish as ever.
Here's Wesley's story: He starts off hating himself. He doesn't feel special. Then he finds out that he is special because he can shoot and fight real good. Then he kills all his enemies. Then he lives happily ever after.
According to Wanted, Wesley enters into manhood by killing his enemies (several times his former best friend says to him "You're the man!"). However attaining to bad-ass-assin-hood makes him no more a man than he was slumped over in his cubicle because, at heart, he's still a selfish little boy.
Ironically, Wesley isn't much different from the main bad guy, Sloan. In fact, if Wesley continues his course, he will develop exactly the same psychotic selfishness that overtook Sloan's otherwise good senses.
Wesley leaves us with one thought as we exit the theatre: "This is me taking control... from Sloan, from the Fraternity, from Janis, billing reports, ergonomic keyboards, from cheating girlfriends and sack of sh-- best friends. This is me taking control of my life. What the f--- have you done lately? " Wow. How extremely... lame.
It is fitting that Wanted focuses on failing to know one's own identity because the movie itself lacks identity. It feels like a high-budget mish-mash of Fight Club, The Matrix, The Da Vinci Code, Tomb Raider, Mr. and Mrs. Smith and Office Space.
But Wanted is a better than average action flick... there. I said something positive.
Other than that, the plot is totally unconvincing. Ahhh, that's better.
A superior storyteller can get away with more fanciful twists than a shoddy one. Thus Wanted's broke-down, wheezing storyline left me questioning almost everything by the movie's end. For example, why can only a few people out of the world do what these assassins can do? Is it genetic? Why does the entire Fraternity have to die? How does Wesley get cut up and shot up so much without bleeding to death? How does Fox (skinnier-than-ever Angelina Jolie) punch guys in the face without breaking her dainty little hands?
The casting seems lopsided too. Wesley is the main character as long as the camera isn't focused on Angelina Jolie standing... or staring... or taking charge in some awkward fashion. And Morgan Freeman's outburst at the end is totally out of character, not only for the movie but for his career in general. He's no Samuel L. Jackson... and that's a good thing.