Those Who Wish Me Dead
The 90s called and they want their generically titled paint-by-the-numbers mind-numbing action movie with a “twist” back.
Owen (Jake Weber) is a forensic accountant that knows “something” about “some people”. Those people, apparently led by Arthur (Tyler Perry) want Owne dead. Owen goes on the run with his son Connor (Finn Little) and they end up in the mountains of Montana. Things happen and Connor ends up with a tramatized smoke jumper, Hannah (Angelina Jolie) who must help Connor get the “something” that his father knew about to the news media. Hot on Owen, Connor and Hannah’s trail are two assassins, Jack (Aidan Gillen) and Patrick (Nicholas Hoult) who forcefully enlists the help of a local sheriff Ethan (Jon Bernthal).
The script is as generic as they come. It introduces a lot of people, but leaves them without motivation outside of someone knows something and someone else wants them dead because of that knowledge. There is not one character in the film that is fleshed out, these are two dimensional characters doing things because the writer wants them to do things – I didn’t understand why people were doing things and eventually, I didn’t care about any of the characters…except for one, Allison (Medina Senghore) who is the pregnant wife of the sheriff. She was a true badass in the movie.
Aidan Gillen, who is doing a good visual impression of Richard Gere, needs to stop taking on roles as bad guys. Tyler Perry, who has a small part in the film, is doing a mean impression of Delroy Lindo. Angelina Jolie’s talents are completely wasted in this film. She is relegated to staring into staring into the distance while flashbacks illustrate her trauma. Jon Bernthal is okay in the film. There isn’t one bad performance in the film, unfortunately, there were no good roles either.
The score for the film, by the usually reliable Brian Tyler, is overbearing and generic.
The one good thing about the film is that the wilderness is shot beautifully and looks gorgeous in the movie. This is offset by some rather bad use of green screen for scenes in cars and also some silly CGI fire.
The “twist” about smoke jumpers was a gimmick for the trailers. Outside of a few shots of people jumping out of planes at the beginning and the end, the removal of smoke jumpers would have not made a difference for this movie.
The pacing for the movie was glacial. The action comes in sharp violent bursts during the first two reels of the film. The last reel of the film goes bonkers and is completely unbelievable. The violence in the film breaks down into two things. First, two guys with assault rifles and handguns shooting way too many rounds – these are professional killers? The second is Allison, the pregnant wife, going to town on the professional killers, this was the best.
Fuck, fuck, fuck. How many fucks can the fucking characters in this fucked up movie fucking say? Because there fucking are a lot of fucking fucks said in this fucking movie and it was fucking annoying. You get what the fuck I am trying to fucking say?
This is the second time that writer/director Taylor Sheridan has disappointed me in 2021. The first was with Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse (he was the screenwriter).
Save yourself an hour and a half and find something else to watch. Those Who Wish Me Dead was not worth it.
Watched at home, streamed on HBO Max.
Why did the trained killers leave the sheriff with his body armor on?
How in the world did the pregnant wife climb up the ladder so quick to get to top of that tower?
Were there some scenes left out of the movie? The bad people chasing Owen for the information, what’s their motivation? Who are they? What did Owen know? Why did Owen need his son to go for an interview with the media? There is something called the internet.
Did the sheriff live?