Saturday, June 28, 2008

Destined to Die- The movie WANTED


[warning: contain spoilers]

Wesley Gibson. 25-year-old Wes (James McAvoy) was the most disaffected, cube-dwelling drone the planet had ever known. Until he met a woman named Fox (Angelina Jolie). After his estranged father is murdered, the deadly sexy Fox recruits Wes into the Fraternity, a secret society that trains Wes to avenge his dad’s death by unlocking his dormant powers. As she teaches him how to develop lightning-quick reflexes and phenomenal agility, Wes discovers this team lives by an ancient, unbreakable code: carry out the death orders given by fate itself. With wickedly brilliant tutors—including the Fraternity’s enigmatic leader, Sloan (Morgan Freeman)—Wes grows to enjoy all the strength he ever wanted. But, slowly, he begins to realize there is more to his dangerous associates than meets the eye. And as he wavers between newfound heroism and vengeance, Wes will come to learn what no one could ever teach him: he alone controls his destiny. --© Universal Pictures more

Members of the Fraternity are fantastic assassins, highly skilled in the martial arts and even makes their bullets turn corner! This movie is a fantasy fusion of The Assassins, The Da Vinci Code and many of the Hong Kong kungfu fighting movies. The Fraternity lives by a code: they are given targets and they have to terminate their targets. No questions asked. No reason given except that their targets were chosen by Fate. This is where it gets interesting; apparently the founders of the assassin cult were originally weavers and found hidden names in their weaving. This were to be the name of people who were to be eliminated. Reminds me of the Fates in Greek mythology who weave a tapestry of life and may change a person's destiny by adding or snipping a thread. Wesley was told that The Fraternity is there to keep balance in the civilisation. "We don't know how far the ripples of our actions go," says Fox, justifying their action "Kill one, maybe save a thousand."

The movie is extremely violent with gunfire, car crashes, train crash, slashing with knives, and scenes of people beating each other up. There were explosions. It is an entertaining fast paced action adventure movie with lots of of violent sound effects.

The idea of a balance in civilisation maintained by killing of people who has the potential to disrupt it is intriguing. This is not removal after a person has done damage but before he or she can do damage. This is preemptive strike by a death squad. It is similar in concept with Minority Report without Tom Cruise's irritating smile.

What happens, I wonder, if God forms a death squad to remove persons who have the potential to harm society- like Hilter, Stalin, Mao or Idi Amin? Assassinate them before they have the opportunity to do damage. Wouldn't that be a great idea? It will save millions of human lives. Why not?

I guess this is because many of us have a simplistic view of violence and evil. We assume the guilt lies only in the person who kills or murder. Unfortunately, the root of evil lies deeper than single person. It also lies in human culture, governments and societies which the Bible refers to as powers and principalities. One may assassinate Hilter before he became Fuhrer but another will likely to arise and take his place.

Interesting thought from an interesting movie though.


  1. hi uncle Alex, have you read Hamlet before? It's like when he says heaven has chosen him to be their "scourge and minister" to wipe out evil in Denmark.

  2. as i was watching it occured to me that the Fraernity's view of justice is simply 'un-Jesus'. a person is not guilty 'until' they actually commit the crime, and God cannot / does not judge a person for crimes uncommitted.

    simple reason being that until a crime has been done, it is not 'actual' - it remains only 'possible' i.e. it isn't real. Which leads me back to the foreknowledge debate on whether the future as 'actual' or as 'possible', and if the latter (which I think is the right view) then God can only know the future as it is, i.e. as possible.

  3. Hi praseodymi,

    Yes, I have read Hamlet and think it is a great play. My favourite Shakespeare's play is still Julius Caesar.

    Come to think of it, you are right in linking Hamlet to this movie. Some people believe they are God's chosen instrument to do his will and that may involve killing. Notable historical example-the Crusades.

  4. hi alwyn,

    Good comment. This is exactly the dilemma I felt when watching Minority Report which was based on a novel by Philip Dirk. Can a person be punished for crimes he or she has yet to commit?

    About the foreknowledge debate, if God can only know the 'possible', the he is not omniscience, is he?

    Brings to mind, the Terminator movies. "The future is what we make it" declares Sarah Connors repeatedly and yet whatever they tried to do, the age of machines draws near. Interesting analogy.

  5. Hi Alex,

    Regarding omniscience, I think the issue isn't what God CAN know. It's about what EXISTS to be known. See, if the future doesn't yet exist in *actuality*, then there is 'nothing actual' for God to know, is there? There can only the possible.

    It's like, if there are only 3 chairs in a room, we can't say that God knows there are four chairs. God is all-knowing about reality, and an 'determined actualised future' may not be part of that reality - at the very least, that's the issue under debate (and NOT whether God knows 'everything').

    Some reflections on M.Report here (

    I loved that show, too :)

  6. oops...sorry the link didn't come out right the first time:

  7. hi alwyn,

    I always enjoy our interactions. Thanks also for the link to Al's website and the billiard ball causation and agent causation posting.

    In systems theory, for direct causation-effect to occur, one will assume a closed system. But creation is not a closed system.

    About the future not existing because it has not happen yet, one has to assume that time is linear. What happens if time is not linear?

    And about God not knowing the future, one will has to postulate that God is part of time. What if God exist outside of time?

    God will have to because he cannot save creation if he is part of creation. :)

  8. hi Alex,

    Nice points. How could you access the link? It looked broken la...;>)

    I can't comment about the 'time being linear' part because IMO that would be like supporting one controversy with yet another controversial hypothesis. Nevertheless, whether is time is linear or non-linear, I hope we can agree that the issue is whether what we call the 'future' is something which actually exists (to be known) or not. It isn't God's omniscience in question here.

    Your comment about God being 'part of creation' is, IMO, somewhat confusing. Notice that I never said He was a 'part of' creation; I only said that the status of the future isn't determinate, that's it. (Nothing to do with God's creaturely or creator-ly status here). I get a feeling you're assuming that if the future remains unknown, therefore God must be considered 'part of' creation. Either that or you've EQUATED 'Creator' to 'knowing all the future' - which is the very issue at hand.

    But in the context of creation, I think the issue is whether God can *sovereignly* choose to create a world where even He can be surprised, shocked, have His mind changed, take risks i.e. face an open non-determinate future.

    Can He do this and remain Creator Saviour God? I would think He can.

  9. hi alwyn,

    I respect your view that God "can *sovereignly* choose to create a world where even He can be surprised, shocked, have His mind changed, take risks i.e. face an open non-determinate future."

    My argument is that God being Creator is outside of time and of his creation. Therefore the past, present, and future is an open book to him. Thus I believe as you put it "EQUATED 'Creator' to 'knowing all the future'"