Those Who Wish Me Dead ★★★
Starring Angelina Jolie, Finn Little, Jon Bernthal, Aidan Gillen, Nicholas Hoult, Tyler Perry
A very unique premise charred with rushed execution, Those who wish me dead was an enjoyable yet flawed flicker of the film it intended to be.
Angelina Jolie’s ‘Hannah Faber’ is a Park County Smokejumper haunted by her failure to prevent three boys dying in a forest fire a year prior. Whilst alone in her lookout tower, she discovers a small boy who carries evidence against a mob-boss and must get him back to the mainland before assassins find him.
I can’t remember the last time I saw a film with Angelina Jolie but she certainly shines brightly as the lead amongst a cast of well-acted, well-scripted characters. Her portrayal is both believable and enjoyable as she dances between her inner trauma and tough exterior.
You genuinely feel the suspense for each character caught in this situation, proving the power of their performances throughout.
That’s not to say the script is flawless, as one particular role in the film fully steals the ‘Mary Sue’ crown belonging to Rey from Star Wars with her ability to…well, do anything.
The setting of the film provides a lot of the natural beauty within the cinematography throughout and (what I’m hoping is CGI and not practical effects) the fires come across as a genuinely terrifying threat. I enjoyed the unique suspense of the fire spreading like a ticking time bomb against our character on both sides of the hunt.
Where the film fails to catch fire is in its execution. Essentially, half the runtime is getting the pieces where they need to be on the board to engage the main essence of the plot.
This leaves the ending feeling somewhat rushed.
It feels like a few more scenes would have gone a long way to provide more of a resolution for our protagonists and more context for the urgency of everyone’s motivations.
Overall Those who wish me dead is carried by its unique story and setting, but it puts out the flames far too quickly to leave a lasting impact.
Those who wish me dead available in cinemas now