Those Who Wish Me Dead is a pretty decent thriller, if you look past the average plot. However, the action makes up for it.
Those Who Wish Me Dead features a star studded cast, each of which do the best that they can to make this movie work. Aiden Gillen and Nicholas Hoult, who play a pair of cold blooded killers steal every scene they are in, and Angelina Jolie does a pretty decent job as well. For those looking for something that feels like an old school thriller, with an alright storyline, Those Who Wish Me Dead will satisfy that itch.
In this movie a forensic accountant named Owen (Jake Weber) has uncovered some shady political financial deals, and the bad guys want this to be kept quiet. After a District Attorney is murdered, Owen and his son Conner (Finn Little) go on the run, knowing they could be next. They are being hunted down by two killers (Gillen and Hoult) who, it seems, will do just about anything to make sure they both don’t survive.
After a car crash, Hannah (Jolie), a smokejumper with some serious PTSD, finds Connor bloody and disoriented in the woods. Her instincts are to immediately try to help him, and she unknowingly ends up entangled in this chase. However the killers aren’t the only threat in this remote forest, there is also a deadly blaze making its way towards them.
Also in the mix of characters are a local sheriff named Ethan (Jon Bernthal) and his pregnant wife Allison (Medina Senghore), who are both connected to Hannah and Owen in different ways. They end up involved in this particular part of the plot due those connections, and of course, because he is the sheriff in this remote area. While they are an enjoyable part of the movie, their part was not one hundred percent necessary.
The thing is when Those Who Wish Me Dead is purely a thriller, it is an intense on the edge of your seat thriller that will have viewers’ hearts pounding. But when it isn’t a thriller, it is just an alright story line that is a little muddled and hard to connect to. Thankfully the movie is more often than not an old school type thriller, and that is why it works so well.
There are a lot of action scenes in the film, which is to be expected when you have two stone cold killers and a deadly blazing fire coming at the main characters all at the same time. There are more heart pounding moments than not in this movie, which will cause viewers to be chewing on their fingernails as they wait to see what happens.
The entire cast is fantastic, although Jolie does seem to phone it in just a tad, which was a disappointment. Her character, Hannah, has some serious PTSD from a job gone wrong, and it is obvious that it is something she struggles with every single day. She is out for redemption, and wants nothing but to keep Connor safe, even if that means taking on multiple threats at once.
Aiden Gillen and Nicholas Hoult give it their all as the two killers, and are by far the best part of the movie. These two will really stop at nothing to complete their mission, including going up against a deadly forest fire that is way out of control. They are nearly unstoppable and despite their clean cut look, are just as dirty as they come. These two steal every scene they are in, and are sure to be the type of villains that the audience just loves to hate.
As if that isn’t enough, the cinematography and the look of so many scenes, just raises this movie up. The action sequences during a blazing fire, with ash raining down on everyone, somehow looks peaceful and serene. Who would have thought?
Those Who Wish Me Dead is an intense thriller when it is a thriller, which is most of the time. There are a few moments where it drifts off course, and a couple of the characters feel too underused to warrant them being a part of the movie at all.
However the overall story, the acting, and the pure look of the film makes it a decent movie, and one that is definitely worth watching.
About Those Who Wish Me Dead
Still reeling from the loss of three lives, Hannah is a smokejumper who’s perched in a watchtower high above the Montana wilderness. She soon encounters Connor, a skittish boy who’s bloodied, traumatized and on the run in the remote forest. As Hannah tries to bring him to safety, she’s unaware of the real dangers to follow: two relentless killers hunting Connor, and a fiery blaze consuming everything in its path.
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Tessa Smith is a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer-approved Film and TV Critic. She is also a Freelance Writer. Tessa has been in the Entertainment writing business for almost ten years and is a member of several Critics Associations including the Critics Choice Association, Hollywood Critics Association, and the Greater Western New York Film Critics Association.