Those Who Wish Me Dead (2021)

those who wish me dead poster 2021 movie
6.0 Overall Score
Story: 5/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 6/10

Dumb action movie

Cliffhanger without the fun and over-the-top stunts

Movie Info

Movie Name: Those Who Wish Me Dead

Studio: BRON Studios

Genre(s): Action/Adventure/Drama

Release Date(s):  May 5, 2021 (South Korea)/May 14, 2021 (US)

MPAA Rating: R

those who wish me dead aidan gillen nicholas hoult

Hi…we’re in the neighborhood assassinating people. Can we come in?

Forensic accountant Owen Casserly (Jake Weber) and his son Conner (Finn Little) are suddenly on the run.  Casserly uncovered a conspiracy involving influential men in the government and has been targeted by agents Jack (Aidan Gillen) and Patrick (Nicholas Hoult) who have orders to kill Casserly to silence him.  Fleeing to his brother-in-law Ethan Sawyer (Jon Bernthal), Conner ends up under the protection of a former smokejumper named Hannah Faber (Angelina Jolie) who has been assigned to a fire tower after a disastrous firefighting mistake left her shaken.  Now, Conner and Hannah are on the run from the killers and a fire is growing that could engulf them all.

Directed by Taylor Sheridan, Those Who Wish Me Dead is an action-adventure drama thriller.  The film is based on the 2014 Michael Koryta novel, and Koryta helped adapt the screenplay.  The film was released in theaters and on HBO Max on May 14, 2021 to average reviews.

those who wish me dead angelina jolie lightning

Kid…I’m sure after all the fires and lightning strikes and bullets we’ll both learn something from this experience

With HBO Max same day streaming, checking out a big budget “new” movie costs you nothing except the monthly fee.  Those Who Wish Me Dead benefits from this because it isn’t the type of movie that would normal draw me in.  Though the bottom line of the film isn’t necessarily positive, the film itself was a fun escapism throwback to summer action…with less action than it should have had.

The movie is just loaded with traumatized people.  Jolie’s character was unable to protect children from a raging fire while Conner has lost his father and mother.  It is a little over-the-top in that sense (leading to one of the better exchanges in the movie in which Jolie tries to comfort Conner, but he “out griefs” her by telling the horrible things that happened to him).  The movie feels ripe for action, but it also feels like besides the initial attacks and lightning strike scene that the film missed opportunity for some really great sequences before leading up to the final showdown.  The rather dead and oddly paced part in the middle hurt the flow a bit.

those who wish me dead angelina jolie vs nicholas hoult

I hate kids

Angelina Jolie goes down as the most unlikely smokejumper.  Though she is fit and athletic, I don’t see her being able to carry and haul the equipment needed…and despite all the falling, electrocutions, and being beaten in the face by a grown man, she still looks great at the end of the day (kind of a modern Jennifer Beales as a welder in Flashdance).  Her young costar Finn Little does do a decent job holding his own and feels more natural than most of the people in the film.  Jon Bernthal is the gruff cop…as he is in almost everything he’s in and Medina Senghore plays his gun toting wife.  Aidan Gillen and Nicholas Hoult play the assassins but they sometimes almost come off as lethal Home Alone Wet Bandits as people get the best of them.  Tyler Perry is also randomly thrown in as the handler of the assassins…a role and scene that feels like a throwaway.

those who wish me dead angelina jolie ending

Pretty much God wants you dead since he keeps trying to kill you

The movie has a nice wooded location but once again, it feels like the forest fire aspect of the movie is underused.  The idea is that Angelina Jolie’s character is going to have to face her demons (which she does), but the demons are almost an afterthought to escaping the assassins.  I thought the movie would end up with more of a Shining type ending with Jolie’s character using the fire to stop the assassins which would have been better than the underwhelming final fight.

Those Who Wish Me Dead does feel a bit like a throwback to the generic Cliffhanger type movies which just feature killers pursing people through the wilderness.  It can be enjoyed as such, but when compared to something like Cliffhanger that goes all out, Those Who Wish Me Dead tries to toe the line and be better than a “dumb” action movie…which it fails to do and is less satisfying as a result.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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