A Brief History
On May 14, 2021, we finally got to watch the latest Angelina Jolie action film, Those Who Wish Me Dead. The film looked really cool on the trailer, and Jolie has been in several action films we enjoyed immensely, so we were anxious and eager to see this flick.
Despite the cynical headline for this article, the movie was ok. Falling short of our high expectations, sure, but still entertaining and kept our interest throughout the 100 minute running time. Acting was generally good, cinematography and special effects were excellent, and the plot was generally solid. Without spoiling the film for you, we can say the plot revolves around some shady conspiracy that results in powerful interests (possibly government?) out to kill people that might expose their nefarious activities. In fact, we cannot really tell you much more than that, because the film never makes clear exactly who these bad guys are and why they are out to kill their targets! This failure to explain irritated us…
Speaking of irritating, TWWMD perpetuates a couple of Hollywood affectations that drive us nuts. Specifically, when a good guy drops a bad guy, why does the good guy fail to strip the dead or disabled bad guy of his weapons and ammunition? Another pet peeve is that the young boy that becomes the main target of the assassins has a 1970’s style mop top hairdo, a trend we refer to as “helmet head.” Sadly, we are sick and tired of every single young boy (4 to 15 years old) having this inexplicably long hair when simple observation of any elementary or middle school in 2021 will show that such hair styles are in fact, out of style. Sure, you can find some exceptions, but the overall trend today is toward shorter, more traditional hair for boys and the Hollywood types have not gotten the clue. It is a rare thing indeed to find a cinematic (television as well as movies) exception to the helmet head kid. Just saying…
Getting back to the good stuff, the forest fire scenes are incredibly realistic and convincing. We marvel at the superb state of movie special effects. Did we mention Angelina Jolie is a star of the film? She is and is at the top of her game in this film, playing a tortured firefighting ranger saddled with saving the boy (played convincingly by Finn Little) from the brother assassin team, Jack and Patrick Blackwell played to creepy perfection by Aidan Gillen and Nicholas Hoult. Jon Bernthal (Shane from The Walking Dead) does a good job as a sheriff’s deputy and the uncle of the boy targeted for murder as does his wife in the film, played by Medina Senghore as a tough as nails survival instructor. Tyler Perry plays the mob boss (other reviews say he is a mob boss, we had to merely assume this, as it was not really clear exactly what sort of bad guy he was) behind the murders of those who could expose the evil doers illegal activity, including the lad who is the last person in the chain of those that must be murdered.
The film is capably directed by Taylor Sheridan, an actor/writer/director who appeared in one of our all-time favorite television shows, Sons of Anarchy. Sheridan has written an Oscar nominated screenplay and has worked on creating television series.
Critical response to the film has been average to just over average, though we liked the movie and can safely recommend it to fans of Angelina Jolie and actions films that feature shoot ‘em ups and fight scenes, car wrecks and the like. Enjoy!
Question for students (and subscribers): What is your favorite Angelina Jolie movie? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
Your readership is much appreciated!
For more information, please see…
Lichtenfeld, Eric. Action Speaks Louder: Violence, Spectacle, and the American Action Movie. Wesleyan University Press, 2007.
Mercer, Rhona. Angelina Jolie – The Biography: The Story of the World’s Most Seductive Star. John Blake, 2009.
The featured image in this article, a poster for Those Who Wish Me Dead, and the copyright for it is most likely owned by either the publisher or the creator of the work depicted. It is believed that the use of scaled-down, low-resolution images of posters
- to provide critical commentary on the film in question or of the poster itself, not solely for illustration
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