Those Who Wish Me Dead (2021) Review

Certificate: 15

Director: Taylor Sheridan

Screenwriter: Michael Koryta, Charles Leavitt

Starring: Angelina Jolie, Nicholas Hoult, Finn Little

Genre: Action, Drama

Runtime: 100 Minutes

Language: English

Rating: 3 Stars

Reviewed by: Pearl

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A teenage murder witness finds himself pursued by twin assassins in the Montana wilderness with a survival expert tasked with protecting him — and a forest fire threatening to consume them all. – From IMDB

Pretty action packed from the very first moments, this action thriller leaves the audience no time to catch it’s breath between the pulse pounding action scenes and the impending doom of death by forest fire.  But for all of it’s high stakes, and building sense of dread, there is very little substance to the film.  If you are there simply to see Angeline Jolie be a badass, and see Aiden Gillen get his comeuppance (again?!) then you are going to have an enjoyable hour and a half and then probably never think about this film again.  If you were perhaps wanting a complex and well written story and well developed characters with interesting interpersonal relationships, while still seeing Angelina Jolie be a badass…then like me, you may be a little disappointed.

Jolie and Finn Little do have some great chemistry on screen, especially in the less serious segments when they have a bit of playful banter and relax a little.  But they don’t really share enough screen time, doing the meaningful, deep, emotional stuff, for the audience to really feel a connection between them.  We also do not delve deep enough into the trauma in Hannah’s past to make it the defining character trait that it seems to want to be.  She still gives a great performance, she always does a great job in these physical, action movie kind of roles, it’s just a shame she wasn’t given more to do with her character.

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I don’t think the whole forest fire element of the story was needed at all.  Sure it added a sense of threat in the background, but I think the two highly trained assassins were enough of a threat on their own, and they could still have been hiding out in the Montana wilderness without the added detail of the fire.  Instead maybe we could have fleshed out the actual conspiracy storyline, and explained exactly why the assassins were contracted to kill these people in the first place, rather than just some vague mentions of it every now and then. That being said, there are some great moments of tension and suspense, it just feels like they don’t really go anywhere.

Overall, the plot felt vey generic.  You were never left wondering what was going to happen, because you have seen this film, or some version of it a hundred times before , and it was just following the same formula.   The action set pieces were well shot and well choreographed, and came across very realistic.  Especially the almost military style behaviour of our two assassins.  Their interactions were some of my favourite in the film.

It’s not one I will remember in a few months time, but as a fan of disaster movies, and action movies, I got at least some surface enjoyment out of this.  Just don’t expect too much from it.

Those Who wish me dead is available to watch in UK cinemas now!

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