03 August 2008

4 Ideas that ‘Wanted’ presents but never really runs with.

Thanks to IGN AU, I attended the [late] Australian premiere of Wanted with 13 friends, two tag-alongs, a work colleague plus wife, and a random couple we gave tickets to on the street. Yes, it turns out that I don’t have 19 friends, but I at least have enough to feel like a bigshot for one night.

The movie was akin to a dog digging holes in the backyard: it’s got a lot of ideas going on, but it never seemed to stick to one long enough to go anywhere deep. As an action film, it was very over-the-top and there were several thrilling set-pieces, so it’s certainly worth a look for action fans. It’s disappointing, though, how intelligently the film opens compared to its latter half. It’s almost as if it got distracted by all the explosions and gunfire, and dropped everything in the excitement. Rather than give it the standard review treatment, I thought I’d discuss the ideas that Wanted introduces, but never fully explores:

The World has a constant subtext.
Whether you realise it or not, the World is constantly bombarding you with subversive messages. It doesn’t matter how aloof or alert you are, there’s only so many messages one person can block. You think you’re so cool, because you don’t do what the billboards or the TV commercials say, but chances are you’re a slave to the billion other messages you’ve missed. When you check your balance on your ATM and you only have fifteen dollars to your name, it’s telling you “you’re an asshole”. When you withdraw that fifteen dollars, it then tells you that you’re a human doormat and your best friend is screwing your girlfriend. You hit the ‘accept’ button.
<!--[if !vml]--><!--[endif]-->

Every man and woman has a Higher Calling.
Every normal person works a job that they hate, Monday to Friday, 9 to 5. If you are working a desk job, you are wasting your life. In fact, if you are working a desk job, you deserve to die. Follow your dreams [read: shoot the wings off a fly] or we’ll put a bullet through your brain.

It is noble and just to kill one for one thousand.
There are some very rich and powerful people out there, and most of them mean you harm. Therefore, it is okay to kill them for the Greater Good, even though most of them will be replaced by equally corruptible figures (like you and me).
<!--[if !vml]--><!--[endif]-->
We are but pawns in God’s great game of chess.
The major players [read: the gods] in Wanted all pride themselves on their attunement to the higher plane: their knowledge of the Will of Fate and their bullet-bending instinct. This renders the lives and deaths of everyday people insignificant in the action scenes, as the Will of Fate is paramount to the Greater Good. As the old saying goes: you can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.

No comments:

Post a Comment