DISCLAIMER: I've done my best not to include any major spoilers but trust me when I say even if I were to spoil the plot, it won't ruin the movie.
An age-old philosophical question asks: "if a tree falls in a forest, does it make a sound?" Wanted pointedly asks: "if a movie makes absolutely no rational sense, is it still entertaining?"
This is me after trying to make sense of this movie.
Perhaps I'm a little ahead of myself. What I knew going into the movie was that it was a typical guy movie: over-the-top action where guns/explosions are given more weight than less-manly things like "plot" and "character development". I was told by those I knew that I would have to suspend belief to get the full enjoyment out of the movie. They weren't kidding...
Wanted is a typical superhero story where our hero (Wesly Gibson, a previous nobody) suddenly discovers his hidden ability, trains really hard (via montage, of course) and then proceeds to kick butt in the name of good. What is his ability? He can make his heart beat really fast so as to pump adrenaline throughout his system and speed up his reaction time to superhuman levels. How fast does he get his heart going? About 400 beats per minute.
400 beats per minute. According to Wikipedia, your maximum heart rate is about 220 minus your age. This is presumably because anything higher than that would cause your heart to explode.
Plot device aside, our explosive-hearted hero joins and trains with a thousand year old fraternity of assassins (cleverly named "The Fraternity"), run out of none other than the textile industry. While I suppose everyone needs a hobby, it's a little frightening to think that the people that supply Jo-Ann Fabrics are the same people that will also happily end someone's life. Come to think of it, I never see Jo-Ann Fabrics do any legitimate business...
I digress. The movie then continues to spit in the face of reality, for example:
- The first scene sees an assassin jump through a skyscraper window and across the street into another building while shooting 3 people in midair. He only drops one floor in height.
- Another scene sees the hero hit his fellow assassin's car to flip over his target's bulletproof limo and shoot at him through the limo's sunroof. Not only does he pull this off, the car actually lands and the hero drives off.
- There's some kind of "magical bath" that, when immersed, causes you to heal from your injuries in hours instead of days. Non-fatal bullet wound? Have a bath, you'll be all set by dinnertime.
So you take the tenuous plot device, odd bit about the textile industry, and the general disregard for all physics with a grain of salt. A very, very, VERY large grain of salt that overwhelms you and leave you on the brink of dehydration. It can't get any tougher to swallow than that, right?
Wrong. In comes "The Loom of Fate". This thousand-year-old loom weaves patterns into the cloth it produces. In binary. Of the names of the targets the Fraternity needs to kill. I couldn't even make that up if I tried.
Because let that sink in for a second. The cloth told these mighty assassins who they need to kill. That's not the actions of a highly-sophisticated organization of death, that's something a crazy person would do. I'm pretty sure that "the cloth told me to kill him!" wouldn't even hold up for an insanity defense in court, simply because the judge and jury will just think you're f***ing with them.
But in all honesty, I liked Wanted. Taken within the framework of its crazy universe, the story did kinda make sense and had a surprise twist I never saw coming (very pleasantly surprised). I was promised an over-the-top, action-packed experience and this movie delivered that in spades. Also, it showed Angelina Jolie's butt for about 2 seconds. If any of that appealed to you, you can safely assume your ten bucks won't be wasted seeing it in theaters.
Just do yourself this favor: don't try to make sense of the movie. I did, and it almost gave me a brain aneurysm.