Those Who Wish Me Dead Movie Review & Summary: A Formulaic Thriller Which Isn’t Devoid of Beauty

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Video Source – Warner Bros. Pictures (Warner Bros. Pictures YouTube Channel)

Those Who Wish Me Dead is an adventure thriller directed by Taylor Sheridan, who is known for directing Wind River and writing movies like Sicario and Hell or High Water. This latest movie of his goes deep into the forests and attempts to create a raging thriller out of it.

Those Who Wish Me Dead Movie Plot

Hannah Faber tries to save a little kid named Connor who is running away from two of the most deadly hitmen. But their troubles are only on the verge of increasing as the lush forests surrounding them go up in heavy flames. 

Those Who Wish Me Dead Movie Cast

  • Angelina Jolie as Hannah Faber
  • Jon Bernthal as Ethan
  • Nicholas Hoult as Patrick
  • Aiden Gillen as Jack
  • Finn Little as Connor  

Those Who Wish Me Dead Movie Review

Those who wish me Dead is a movie which doesn’t pack a lot, but then again, it doesn’t stretch a lot. My feelings about this movie are pretty complicated as there is a lot, I mean A LOT, to nitpick in this fiery little movie, but I would still recommend it to someone, all things considered. With it’s several plot holes, conveniences and things which don’t add up, the beauty of the film comes through its ever engaging action pieces, the lush scope and the ever elegant Angelina Jolie who gets in all kinds of dirt and pain.

The plot is there for the sake of it, and I know that this is based on a book, but there were a lot of things that were left unexplained or dumbed down in the movie and I am not sure if it’s the case with the book too, but I wasn’t a massive fan of the way things moved throughout the runtime. But if I were to keep that aside, there’s a lot of tension to be felt in this movie, and I was all for it. 

A guilt filled firefighter, Hannah Faber (Played by Angelina Jolie) leads her life in the wilds of Montanna. Her occasional mischiefs land her in a watchtower in the middle of nowhere, from where she is supposed to guide over the forests and the clouds and give out a warning if she sees or senses anything wrong. On the other side of things, Connor (Played by Finn Little) and his father are running away from two hitmen who are after their lives. It seems as if the father has uncovered something he wasn’t supposed to uncover and now his life is caught in an ever increasing danger.

After a serious turn of events, the boy makes his way into the depths of the forest where he meets Hannah and together, they embark on a journey towards the town, running away from the deadly killers and a humongous and raging forest fire. In the midst of all this, a police officer who happens to be a survival instructor and Hannah’s ex-boyfriend, Ethan (Played by Jon Bernthal) gets caught in this deadly situation, along with his 8 months pregnant wife Allison (Played by Medina Senghore).

In a still from Those Who Wish Me Dead Movie

Those Who Wish Me Dead Movie: Beauty in the Flames

The cinematography of this movie really caught my attention, and while the overuse of drone shots to change the scene quickly got distracting, the level of beauty in open grasslands and forests, and the same forests burning in their full glory, was truly enchanting. Even watching Hannah, just sitting by a cliff, with the ever expansive forests of Montanna in front of her, really makes the viewer feel so miniscule in comparison with the full force of Nature.

The action sequences induce an excessive amount of tension and uncertainty in each scene, whether it’s a boy trying to get out of a shootout or a pregnant woman trying to avoid a spiking hot rod in her eye. The duo of Aiden Gillen and Nicholas Hoult has a sense of terror which only increases with the increase in their calmness, as they kill people without a second thought. The cinematography of Those who wish me Dead is also complimented by the gorgeous use of CGI in the movie, and they truly create an over the top, yet eerily realistic portrayal of a forest fire which spreads without limits and without consideration. 

Angelina Jolie’s arc did appear cliché during the majority of Those Who Wish Me Dead, and her previous account of a trauma, and her going back to the same trauma, isn’t entirely unique. But I found Jolie to be as graceful as ever, not necessarily in terms of her performance as the screenplay didn’t necessarily provide her with that many opportunities for range, but for being Angelina Jolie, if that makes any sense.

I think what I mean is that the entirety of Marketing revolving around this movie is Angelina Jolie centered and if you are one of those who is watching this movie just because of her, I don’t think you would be that disappointed. She doesn’t necessarily do anything that she hasn’t done in her past roles, but hey, that’s what the vast population loves about her. Her character’s relationship with Connor tried hard to re-enact a mother son relationship, and while Connor did well in not diving into that needy son persona, it still lacked a certain uniqueness.

Those Who Wish Me Dead: Listing all the Clichés and Conveniences Which Caused Inconveniences

My issue with Those Who Wish Me Dead is centered around two major instances, one being that highly underwhelming last act. The final act gives the entire explanation of why this movie is nothing new. It plays off in the most cliché and dumb way possible where a character who has been a ruthless maniac throughout the runtime, succumbs in the most irresponsible way possible.

Again, the criticisms might be towards the book as I am not necessarily sure about what changes took place during the adaptation, but I physically cringed as I saw that take place in front of me. It is so secluded and just felt entirely empty to me. Secondly, I am still clueless about what it is that they were running from. Without jumping into too much spoilers, I have already said that the father son duo are running because they uncovered something, yes, but what? I have seen this happen in a lot of movies where the circumstances aren’t told upfront, or are never told, but that’s because they either increase the tension, or they aren’t really relevant.

Well the circumstances here sure increased the tension and throughout the runtime, I kept staring at the screen, waiting for some sort of explanation about why anything took place in the first place. I didn’t want it to spoon feed me, but maybe, coming up with a certain plot device wouldn’t have been that difficult. 

After having said all of this, it still feels a bit weird saying that I enjoyed Those Who Wish Me Dead. Maybe I went too much in depth about the stuff that I wasn’t exactly fond of, but yeah, it’s alright. I won’t call it mediocre but it’s far from anything special. It has good performances overall and the antagonists feel like actual threats. Angelina Jolie is smooth as ever, and that’s about all of the reasons to go ahead and watch this movie right now.

Those Who Wish Me Dead Movie Critical Reception 

Those Who Wish Me Dead stands at 62% on Rotten Tomatoes with the consensus being, “A squarely traditional ’90s-style action thriller, Those Who Wish Me Dead is elevated by Taylor Sheridan’s propulsive direction.” It has a Metascore of 59.

The Movie Culture Synopsis

Those Who Wish Me Dead isn’t subversive or devoid of clichés. But it also has a lot going for it, like its beautiful cinematography and direction along with some pretty solid dialogue and performances. It’s anxiety inducing and dumb, and I will leave it to you to prioritize accordingly. 

Author

  • Hardik is a Mumbai based writer who is a cinephile. Nothing interests him more than movies and visual entertainment. His other hobbies include reading and singing (At least, he likes to think that he sings well). You can connect with him on his Instagram.