01 July 2008

Wanted: A Moral Compass

Wanted tells the story of Wesley Gibson (James McAvoy), an insecure slob who discovers his talent and identity under the tutelage of Sloan (Morgan Freeman), the leader of a fraternity of assassins.

The Fraternity, Sloan tells him, takes its orders from “the loom of fate.” Sloan uses a series of missed weaves to spell out a name, which he hands down as a kill order. The assassins believe they maintain balance in the world by executing the dictates of fate, and nobody personifies the code better than Fox (Angelina Jolie), the assassin responsible for training Gibson.

Along the way, director Timur Bekmambetov treats the audience to spectacular violence and an abundance of dark comedy.

The problem with the Fraternity is human nature, or at least Sloan’s nature. And the story turns on the choices Gibson, Fox, and the others have to make. The show ends with Gibson looking up from his rifle scope and asking, “What the [expletive deleted] have you done lately?”

In Gibson’s world, maturity means having the firepower to "take control" from one’s abusers. It is less clear what distinguishes Gibson from Sloan after the switch.

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