We went to see the new Angelina Jolie flick, Wanted, the other night. Having watched the trailers, and noting that 75% or so of 150+ reviews were coming out positive, our expectation was of basically mindless summer action in a slick package.
We got all that: the production values were excellent, and the acting was just fine — most of all, the action sequences were extremely stylish and fantastically unrealistic, though a bit over the top on gore at times. All of this is what you would expect. It’s the “message” that is so horrid.
*** MILD SPOILAGE ALERT ***
The movie started out pretty quirky and random, and I was fine with cutting it slack even while Tammy was alternately squirming with boredom and revulsion at gory stuff as we waited for things to unfold. Soon enough, we got to see the main protagonist — someone we are supposed like — struggle briefly with and then accept the idea of killing innocent people on nothing more than blind faith in a mysterious, unseen and unfathomable authority saying they must be killed now to prevent never-specified future harms. Yes, the movie presents the issue that clearly, and then basically endorses the cold-blooded murder of innocents on faith. Our jaws dropped.
Oh, but it gets worse. Even after the danger of such blind faith and obedience was demonstrated to be problematic in the course of the plot, a second important character who we are to sympathize with and enjoy the action of goes and deliberately acts on such faith in the face of that demonstration — and in a gigantically self-sacrificial manner! Our eyes boggled.
As if all that isn’t horrid enough to be whacked in the face with, the movie underscores it by closing with a direct challenge addressed to the audience, along the lines of “see how I took splendid control of my life — well, what have you done lately?”
We stood up and shuffled out, numb at the Columbine-level insanity of it’s message… and of so many people thinking it is just fine, if not great.