Archive for May, 2021

Rivers Lead to Towns

Those Who Wish Me Dead

Director: Taylor Sheridan

Cast: Angelina Jolie, Nicholas Hoult, Finn Little, Jon Bernthal, Aiden Gillen, Jake Weber, Medina Senghore, Tyler Perry

Oscar winner Angelina Jolie (Girl, Interrupted) lights up the screen in Taylor Sheridan’s adaptation of a novel by Michael Koryta entitled Those Who Wish Me Dead which centres on a fire jumper Hannah played by Jolie who becomes the protector of a young boy named Connor played by Finn Little after he witnesses his father being murdered by two heartless assassins Patrick and Jack played respectively by Nicholas Hoult (The Favourite, A Single Man) and Aidan Gillen (Bohemian Rhapsody, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword).

The father Owen, a forensic accountant came across some dodgy financial dealings and was targeted by a crime boss Arthur played by Tyler Perry (Gone Girl).

Unfortunately, the writer of Hell or High Water and Wind River, Taylor Sheridan who also directs this explosive action thriller does not provide sufficient background information on the motives for the killings or even frame the plot within a larger context which is the inherent weakness of a film, which should have been great, but turns out to be average. This is despite the star power of Angelina Jolie who simply looks too beautiful to be a fire jumper in the Montana wilderness.

Jolie should stick to doing more prolific roles like Maleficent.  Even Nicholas Hoult who was so good in the Oscar winning film The Favourite opposite Rachel Wiesz and Olivia Colman, was wasted in a film with minimal dialogue although due to Hoult’s massive physique he was impressive as the ruthless assassin Patrick who has to battle Hannah as she attempts to protect Connor during a raging forest fire.

Jon Bernthal (The Wolf of Wall Street) stars as the county sheriff Ethan who gets caught up in the middle of the action as the assassins go after Connor as he is left to fend for himself with the help of Hannah in the Montana wilderness. Hannah keeps telling Connor to run to the rivers which leads to the towns and to safety.

The action scenes in Those Who Wish Me Dead are very impressive and the forest is almost a character on its own, however the dialogue and the back story for this confusing action thriller needed to be clearly developed. Which is considerably disappointing since director Taylor Sheridan was the writer and director of such brilliant films as Wind River and the Oscar nominated Hell or High Water.

Those Who Wish Me Dead is an explosive action thriller with Angelina Jolie taking the lead as the gung ho gorgeous heroine, which is light on dialogue and heavy on action and suspense. This film is fun and enjoyable but the story is too weak to make the viewers empathise sufficiently with the plight of the characters.

For those that enjoy an action heavy adventure story, catch Those Who Wish Me Dead in cinemas now. This Montana set action thriller gets a film rating of 6.5 out of 10.

Those Who Wish Me Dead is now showing in Cinemas

The Black Friday Heist

Wrath of Man

Director: Guy Ritchie

Cast: Jason Statham, Scott Eastwood, Holt Collany, Josh Hartnett, Jeffrey Donovan, Andy Garcia, Eddie Marsan, Chris Reilly, Niamh Agar, Eli Brown

Stylistically not as brilliant as The Gentlemen, maverick British director Guy Ritchie has produced an enjoyable and twisty action thriller with his new film Wrath of Man set in a smoggy Los Angeles.

Ritchie has assembled a mostly male cast for this heist revenge thriller, headed by action man Jason Statham (The Fast and the Furious, Snatch) as the mysterious H; along with Josh Hartnett (Lucky Number Slevin, The Black Dahlia) as Boy Sweat Dave, Holt McCallany as Bullet, Jeffrey Donovan (Let Him Go, Honest Thief) as heist co-ordinator Jackson and Clint Eastwood’s son, Scott Eastwood (Pacific Rim Uprising, The Fate of the Furious) as the villainous Jan. All the action takes place in a murky downtown Los Angeles and centres on the ruthless world of cash-in-transit robberies.

Taking inspiration from the far more glossy Christopher Nolan film Tenet, Guy Ritchie reconstructs the action from several different timelines so initially audiences will be slightly confused but as the narrative unfolds in four parts, all the players will emerge from an intricate plot as H goes on a revenge mission to discover who killed his son Doug played by Eli Brown, who unfortunately happened to be in the car near a vicious robbery and became collateral damage.

While the dialogue in Wrath of Man does not match up to the macho innuendos of Ritchie’s previous British action film The Gentleman, the action and bravado in this film is extremely hectic as H gets embroiled in a plot dreamed up by Jackson to rob the cash in transit depot after all the armoured trucks have received the cash from Black Friday also known as the biggest shopping day on America, the day after Thanksgiving.  

Naturally everything goes south as H. has to defend himself against a ruthless gang of thieves who feel nothing at slitting each other’s throat to get a bigger slice of the spoils. Jackson and the blue-eyed Jan are the main perpetrators and Jeffrey Donovan and Scott Eastwood are well-cast in these parts.

Wrath of Man is a gritty, old fashioned action film about robbers betraying each other and features a surprise cameo by Cuban born actor and Oscar nominee Andy Garcia (The Godfather Part III) as the mysterious Agent King.

Viewers that enjoy a good twisty action film, will love Wrath of Man as they watch H, the tough guy faithfully played by Jason Statham rip out the Lungs, Liver, Heart and Spleen of his victims specifically the vicious psychopath who killed his innocent son during the bloodiest Black Friday heist ever seen.

Certainly not as good as Guy Ritchie’s other films like Sherlock Holmes, The  Gentleman and King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, Wrath of Man is worth seeing for the action sequences and gets a film rating of 7 out of 10.

Catch Wrath of Man in cinemas now.

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