We are told in the opening scene that there was an ancient society of weavers who became assassins… and that they were known as the fraternity.
There is a opening fight sequence where two characters, one male and one female, as yet unnamed, are talking about the untraceable bullets that some other assassin has been using. While they are talking, a mark appears on the forehead of the woman, the man tells her to duck, but it is too late, she is shot in the head by shooters from across the roof. The man takes off at a run, and at first we believe he is running for his life, instead, he waits for the elevator to open, so that he can enter, and then build up enough speed to jump through the window and across the open space between the two buildings, shooting all the assassins (I think there are 4) gathered there. He gets a phone call from Cross, who is apparently the assassin who set up this kill as well as defected from a society of assassins known as the fraternity, and tells him, “You can’t send sheep to kill a wolf.” (or something like that). Cross says that they were just decoys, the man looks down and realizes that he is standing on a big “X” moments before he gets shot. We then see the backwards trajectory of the bullet and realize it was fired from blocks away by Cross, who is sitting in a chair looking through his elaborate gun/scope set up.
We then see our main character Wesley (James McAvoy), at the beginning of the movie, leading a pretty awful life. He is an account service representative/ manager (we’re told, through direct narration that the job title has recently changed), who works in a tiny cubicle… we see through a series of clips that his boss, Janice is overweight, overbearing, and likes to clip staplers near people’s heads to get their attention. His girlfriend is cheating on him with his best friend and office mate, and he tells the audience that he is just too much of a “pussy” to do anything about it. He regularly takes anxiety medication, doesn’t have enough cash to even get $10 out of the ATM, and even pays for his friend’s (the one cheating on him with his girlfriend) energy drink and melon-flavored condoms. We are also told that his father left him when he was only 7 days old, and we assume the two have had no contact since then.
A couple of scenes from the office later, we see James trying to pick up yet another prescription of anxiety meds. He turns and finds a woman (Angelina Jolie, who later introduces herself as Fox) standing calmly, staring at him. He apologizes because he feels awkward, and she tells him he apologizes too much. He apologizes for that as well, and Fox tells him that his father was a great assassin who was killed last night. While Wesley is trying to digest this, we see Cross in the background, and what follows is a gunfight within the drug store/ grocery store between Cross and Fox while Wesley keeps trying to run away.
All three make it outside, Wesley running on foot while Cross finds a delivery truck and Fox gets into the red convertible type we’ve seen in the previews. Wesley believes he is about to be hit by the truck, he ducks, and Fox spins her car, opens the door, and gets Wesley inside the car. What follows is a high speed, very fun chase scene where Fox ends up driving with car with her feet, on the dashboard and shooting while Wesley keeps asking to be let off at the corner (Fox has to keep telling him to please shut up initially).
Cross survives the chase and runs away, while Fox takes Wesley to what we think is an abandoned warehouse where he wakes to meet a bunch of mean-looking assassins and Sloan (Morgan Freeman), whom we assume is the head of the assassins.
Wesley tries to get away, and is handed a gun and told to “shoot the wings off the flies” gathered in the trash container. He says that’s impossible, and one of the assassins points a gun to the Wesley’s back and says that on the count of three, one of them is going to shoot. (Fox meanwhile is in the background, looking calmly on… Angelina Jolie doesn’t really have a ton of dialogue, so if I don’t mention her specifically you can almost assume she’s in the background, looking hot and being slightly mysterious). We hear Wesley’s heart beating, and slowing and we see him fire 6 shots. He goes and sits and reaches for his anxiety medication, apologizing and saying it’s impossible. Sloan walks over and replaces Wesley’s anxiety meds with the three flies, none of which have wings, and says, “A lot of things were impossible for you before yesterday.”
Wesley is told again that his father has been assassinated, that he inherited this unique gift to have a rush of adrenaline (what he thought were anxiety attacks), which actually allows him to slow things down and act much quicker than the normal human being. He is told that with training, he can control this gift, and as his father’s son, all of his father’s considerable assets have been transferred to his account. Wesley has trouble taking this all in. He trains his gun on first Sloan and then the other assassins. Sloan and Fox and everyone look at him with bemused expressions, Sloan even quips that everyone else in the room is a trained assassin and so Wesley had best point the gun purely at Sloan… and eventually they let him go.
Wesley wakes up the next morning, and says, “You know how you have a dream sometimes and you wake up and you’re so happy it was just a dream?” He goes to the restroom and the gun he was given yesterday, his father’s gun, falls out. Wesley panics and hides it in the top part of the toilet (IMPORTANT LATER).
He goes to work, but checks his ATM balance on the way and finds that there is over $3 million in his account (he withdraws $20). He starts off at work, feeling much happier and more confident. When Janice, his boss, asks him for the billing report and starts snapping the stapler, he loses his temper, takes the stapler from her and forces her to sit down, having a wonderfully hilarious confrontation scene where he tells her that just because junior high was tough for her doesn’t give her to right to be a bitch to everyone, that they would all feel sorry for her (and all know about the jelly donuts she hides in the top drawer) if she weren’t such a bitch, but as it stood, all he can say to her is, “Go fuck yourself.” Everyone is watching as he stands up and leaves his cubicle with his ergonomically correct keyboard. His best friend (the one cheating on him) says, “You’re the man!” Wesley responds by smashing the keyboard into his friends face.
Wesley sees news articles about last night’s shooting on the newspapers being sold outside his building, the word “WANTED” on one of them, and then sees Fox in the car outside. He gets in and what follows is a training montage where he is taken to what we know learn is a textile mill, where Fox is assigned to train Wesley and where our hero is gradually shown the secrets and ways of being an assassin. He meets various characters like a man in a butcher part of the mill who teaches him about knives, the Repairman, who keeps tying Wesley up to a chair and asking him “Why are you here!” as well as a Russian who is more in charge of the healing process. We see Wesley wake up in a candle/wax bath and told that this helps speed up the healing process. The Russian also tells him that rats are really attracted to peanut butter and we see that he has tied an explosive watch to the rat, which he has run off and then blow up (IMPORTANT LATER). There is also a scene of Fox (Jolie) rising naked from one of the wax baths at one point and Wesley saying, “You couldn’t have given me a heads up?”
We also learn that all the assassins have a special ability whereby they can bend the path of a bullet, an ability Wesley has a hard time mastering. Sometime during this time we learn that Cross is killing off the fraternity one by one, that Sloan believes that Wesley is the only one who is capable of killing Cross, and that they must speed up their training of Wesley. Eventually, Fox beats up Wesley (instead of the Repairman), asking again and again, “Why are you here?” Until Wesley says finally, “I don’t know who I am.” Which is the correct response. He is shown his father’s belongings, his father’s history of assassinations, and vows to speed up his training.
Wesley feels like he is ready… Sloan reveals that the fraternity get their kill orders from the loom of fate, which is a giant loom that gives the names of targets via a binary code derived from threads that are out of pattern. Sloan shows him this loom but then says this is the first and last time you will ever be in this room. He hands Wesley his first assignment, which is some unknown man’s name, and tells him that he is not yet ready for Cross.
Wesley is disappointed, but we see him and Fox take a train (they like to stand on top of them) to go and kill the mark. Wesley can’t do it. We see him laying in a wax bath explaining to Fox why he couldn’t kill someone he didn’t know. Fox then tells him the story of a little girl whose daddy was a judge. The daddy/judge was a bit of a hard-ass (though we assume always fair), so that when a criminal wanted to get an easier judge, they sent someone named I think Max Petridge or something. What Max would do is tie up his victims (in this case, the father/ judge) and burn them alive while their relatives (in this case the young girl) watched in horror. Afterwards, he would burn his initials into the living relative’s skin, so that they would remember. Fox then reveals that Max’s name had come up weeks before the judge was killed, but that someone in the fraternity had failed to pull the trigger. She explains that they don’t know the full consequences of their actions, and that their belief is again, to kill one, save a thousand. As she stands up to leave, Wesley sees the branded initials on Fox’s neck, realizes that was her personal story as well as why Fox is such a believer in the fraternity, and we see in the next scene Wesley killing the man he was originally assigned to kill.
One more kill happens. Then one day, he and Fox go back to his apartment to retrieve the gun (great scene where we see the best friend has moved in with the girlfriend and the girlfriend yells at Wesley for thinking he can just come back). Wesley gets the gun, the Fox hears the screaming from outside, and comes in, making out with Wesley while the best friend and girlfriend watch with mouths hanging open.
Outside the apartment, Fox goes to get the car and we see Cross again, there is a gunfight and a chase, where the other assassins from the fraternity come running, Cross gets away, and Wesley accidentally shoots the Russian. Wesley is shot in the arm, but is put in a bath and heals, seeing in his periphery that though Fox and the others try to save him, the Russian does not make it.
Wesley is very upset and takes the bullet Cross shot him with (which this time, is traceable) and confronts Sloan, saying someone in the fraternity is dead because of him and that he is ready to kill Cross. The bullet traces back to someone named Pekwarsky (Terance Stamp) who lives in some monastery like complex where the fraternity originated. Sloan and Fox say it’s a trap but Wesley doesn’t care. He says Cross is taunting him and he wants to go. Sloan agrees and Wesley says he has to go by himself, because Cross won’t show himself otherwise.
We see Wesley walk away with Fox saying to Sloan she thinks this is a mistake. Sloan says something along the lines of it is what it is/ fate, and gives Fox her next assignment… which is to kill Wesley (presumably after Wesley kills cross).
Wesley tracks down Pekwarsky, the bullet-maker, only to be held at gunpoint. Fox saves Wesley, Pekwarsky says he’ll arrange the meeting between Cross and Wesley, and we see them all go to the train station. Another (very cool) train and chase scene, Fox crashes car into train, Wesley saves Fox, lots of shooting and bullets clashing. Eventually the train begins to fall off this bridge, and Wesley is about to fall off into the chasm. Cross grabs his arm to save him, and looks very concerned. Wesley pulls out his gun and shots Cross. They manage to drag themselves to a more stable position, but then Cross tells Wesley to stop, “Everything they’ve told you is a lie… you’re my son.” Cross dies, and Wesley asks Fox, who has been in the background, “Is it true?” Fox replies that it is, and then shoots the glass out from under Cross/ Wesley, so that both fall into the chasm/ water below.
Fox returns to the textile mill, a little bloodied and notes that they trained Wesley well. Wesley awakens in the apartment across the street from his. Pekwarsky has saved him and explains that he did it according to Cross/ Wesley’s father’s wishes. He shows Wesley many pictures Cross took as Wesley was growing up and reveals that Cross left the fraternity because he had figured out that Sloan was a bad guy, and had been giving orders for years for profit (we even see the piece of cloth showing the order to kill Sloan). Pekwarsky gives Wesley a ticket and explains that his father only ever wanted Wesley to lead a normal life.
Instead of running, Wesley finds a hidden room in this apartment with weapons and detailed building and kills plans of the textile mil. We see him buying peanut butter and trapping rats and then later, driving up the mill and unloading hundreds of rats (which all have explosives attached to them). As they explode (a series of amazing scenes here), Wesley storms the mill, kills a bunch of people, and finally there is a showdown where everyone is standing in a circle, Wesley in the middle, the assigns around the edge. Wesley reveals that Sloan has been faking orders for years and that without the code of the fraternity and following the loom; Sloan is nothing but a “thug who can bend bullets.”
Sloan responds by saying this is a great opportunity. He gives each of the assassins gathered in the room, Fox, the Gunsmith (Common), etc. kill orders that say that the loom had ordered each of them killed at one point (this is unclear, but I think you can assume that the loom ordered them to be killed after they started killing innocents since Sloan was ordering them to kill innocents). Sloan then says that they can take control of their future and become men among gods, and that they have a choice, to put the gun in their own mouths and follow the order of the code, or shoot Wesley.
A couple of assassins seem to be about to shoot Wesley, but Fox acts first, curving the bullet to the side… we see her bullet go through the heads of all the gathered assassins, eventually killing her as well, right after she tosses her gun to Wesley.
Wesley grabs the gun but it is too late, Sloan has disappeared. We then see a man sitting at a desk that we assume is Wesley, typing away saying this is not him saving the world. We see Sloan approach him from behind with a gun, asking Wesley if this is the life he’s choosing or something along those lines. At the last minute Sloan figures out that the man at the desk is not Wesley, merely a decoy. Sloan looks down and realizes he is standing on top of an “X” moments before he is shot in the head, and we rewind again the path of the bullet and see that it has gone through Janice’s donut and his former best friend’s coffee and started from many buildings away, where Wesley is sitting. Wesley this whole time has been explaining all he has given up in the past six weeks, his girlfriend and crummy job, etc. and at the last moments asks the camera before pulling the trigger, “What the fuck have you done lately?”
*CUT TO THE CHASE*
Brought to you by
Wesley Gibson (James McAvoy) trains to be an assassin to kill Cross (Thomas Kretschmann), who Sloan (Morgan Freeman) says killed Gibson's father. Fox (Angelina Jolie) is his main trainer.
Turns out Sloan is the bad guy and Cross is Gibson's father. Gibson finds this out after he has fatally shot Cross.
Gibson tells the rest of the assassins that Sloan lied to them, and they were all fated to die. Sloan tells them to kill Gibson, but Fox shoots a curved bullet that goes through the heads of all the assassins, including herself. Sloan escapes.
Gibson is back at his old job. Sloan appears with a gun to his head. Gibson turns around, and it's not really him - it's a decoy. A bullet slams through Sloan's head. Everybody's dead but Gibson.
You can send in your spoiler to other movies by going here.