Those Who Wish Me Dead
review by Bobby Blakey
Feels like it’s been awhile since we’ve seen Angelina Jolie. While waiting to see her step into the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the upcoming Eternals she is stepping back into the world of action with the her new film Those Who Wish Me Dead co-starring Jon Bernthal, Nicholas Hoult, and Tyler Perry with Sicario and Hell or High Water writer and Wind River director Taylor Sheridan at the helm.
Those Who Wish Me Dead follows a teenage murder witness who finds himself pursued by twin assassins in the Montana wilderness with a survival expert tasked with protecting him and a forest fire threatening to consume them all. While I am not a huge Jolie fan, I admit that I had fun with her Tomb Raider films and Mr. and Mrs. Smith. She is clearly able to handle the action and I am interested to see her addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe with the upcoming Eternals, but this latest film’s trailer didn’t do a lot for me. That being said I am a fan of Taylor Sheridan’s work so had a good chance to being something special.
To my surprise it does work better than I had expected while still being pretty generic as a whole. Jolie is a strong lead and does a good job here bringing this stoic and tough character to the forefront. Her emotional struggles coupled with her fearless attitude makes for ones those 90s style action characters we have seen a dozen times, but are still fun to watch. While it takes place in the forest surrounded by a raging fire, the films plot and characters really reminded me of Stallone’s flick Cliffhanger. This isn’t a bad thing as I dig that movie, but it just lacked the originality I was hoping we were going to get.
Stepping away from the generic tone of it all it does still manage to entertain and excite. There is plenty of action to be had and Jolie carries it well, but it never really cuts loose. Had they pushed the boundaries a bit more and took some chances it really could have stood out as something special. This doesn’t make it a bad movie, just more of one that follows a formula you have seen pretty often. The forest fire element does give it a new twist, but still not enough to take it to that next level.
In the end this film does entertain and offers up exactly what it hoped to but might get lost in the shuffle of all the others like it. Decide for yourself and check out Those Who Wish Me Dead in theaters now and HBO MAX from Warner Bros.