What You Need To Know:
The eye-popping action scenes in WANTED are peppered with bloody, sadomasochistic shots of human destruction, an excessive number of strong obscenities, two sex scenes, and brief nudity. In the end, the movie’s pagan references to Fate give way to a celebration of existential delight, where each human being controls his destiny. This is an abhorrent kind of nihilism where there are no transcendent values and no transcendent meaning other than one’s own ego.
(HHH, PaPa, B, FRFR, LLL, VVV, SS, NN, AA, D, MM) Very strong humanist, existentialist, libertarian, almost nihilistic worldview extolling making selfish choices so that the individual is in control of his destiny rather than other outside forces, with some competing worldviews such as a pagan one that talks about Fate (in a metaphor borrowed from Greek mythology about the Fates looming one’s destiny) determining whom to kill so that some kind of “balance,” including apparently moral balance, can be maintained in the universe, and woman accepts the Fate construct because she comes to believe that there’s a final “moral” goal to it that requires the assassination of allegedly evil people, plus some moral relativism about assassinating evil people instead of bringing them to some kind of justice that might (or might not) reflect God’s Law in the Bible; at least 105 mostly strong obscenities, three strong profanities, 12 light profanities, some crude vulgarities, and a couple obscene gestures; extreme violence with much blood and some gore includes images of assassin bullets in slow motion piercing people’s heads, car chases, explosions, knife fights, man tied up and beaten repeatedly, people shot dead, man hits guy with computer keyboard which knocks him out cold, and eye-popping special effects involving a huge train derailment on a railroad bridge between two mountain tunnels; depicted fornication in two scenes (people are mostly clothed) and man lives with his girlfriend who cheats on him; men ogle backside of beautiful woman in one shot, rear female nudity in another shot, woman in bra, female cleavage, and some upper and brief rear male nudity; alcohol use and drunkenness; smoking; and, assassins at times are shown to be the “good” guys so there is some moral relativism, lying and deceit.
Based on a violent comic book series, WANTED is an existentialist nightmare that, if taken to its logical conclusion, would end up in nihilism. The only thing that might save the creators and filmmakers behind this, besides salvation through Jesus Christ, is the fact that they probably aren’t aware of the solipsistic consequences of the final message in their story.
James McAvoy of ATONEMENT stars in WANTED as Wesley Gibson, a wimpy accountant who suffers panic attacks, especially when his mean witch of a boss yells at him. Wes is so wimpy that even his live-in girlfriend is cheating on him with his best friend at the office.
Enter a beautiful assassin named Fox, played by Angelina Jolie. She saves him from an apparent assassin in a deadly shootout and car chase along the streets of Chicago.
Fox is part of an elite, centuries-old group of assassins with “god-like powers” called the Fraternity. The Fraternity is pledged to carry out the unbreakable orders of the Loom of Fate, which tells them which bad guys to assassinate in order to restore “balance” to the universe.
Sloan, the Fraternity’s enigmatic leader played by Morgan Freeman, wants Wes to learn to become an assassin so that he can kill the man who betrayed and killed his father – the same man which Fox says was trying to kill Wes.
After an intense training that almost kills him before he begins, Wes learns to control the strange powers within him. He learns, however, that someone has rigged the Loom of Fate for their own ends. Only by learning to control his own destiny will Wes be able to survive.
The eye-popping action scenes in WANTED are peppered with bloody, sadomasochistic shots of human destruction, an excessive amount of strong foul language, two sex scenes, and brief nudity. It’s a misanthropic enterprise with little to redeem the story or the characters. In the end, the movie’s pagan-oriented references to Fate give way to a celebration of existential delight, where each human being controls his own destiny. This is a humanist kind of nihilism where there are no transcendent values and no transcendent meaning other than one’s own ego. In fact, in the movie’s last shot, Wes, the protagonist, overtly challenges the audience to follow him down this selfish path.
Needless to say, when taken altogether, WANTED strikes MOVIEGUIDE® as rather abhorrent. Hence, it deserves our lowest acceptability rating, Minus Four. Parents should be careful that their children, especially their teenagers and young adult children, don’t get caught up in the sadomasochistic, obscene, existential nihilism of WANTED.