Lately we’ve definitely had a lot of those “broken adult on the run with endangered youth” movies. There was “News of the World” with Tom Hanks and Helena Zengel in December and “The Marksman” with Liam Neeson and Jacob Perez in January.
Okay, counting “Those Who Wish Me Dead” with Angelina Jolie and Finn Little, that’s just three movies, but at this time it’s a lot.
The story sees Connor (Little) on the run from a pair of assassins (Aiden Gillen and Nicholas Hoult, playing brothers with the most glaring age difference since Bradley Cooper and Sam Elliot in “A Star is Born”) who are there to eliminate him and his father (Jake Weber) due to the latter’s knowledge of their boss’s illegal business relationship (a surprise cameo).
He meets disgraced former smoker Hannah Faber (Jolie), who agrees to help him, partly because it’s the right thing to do and partly because she has to atone for some child deaths that have occurred under her. keep.
The film’s commercial emphasizes the fire, particularly the one the assassins start as a diversion from their murder trail. This is actually a very small part of the movie. The commercial also implies that smokejump tactics will play a part in the action, but they really don’t.
We see them in a flashback to why Hannah is so haunted, and again at the end after the assassin’s action ends, but the cool smokejump stunts are never in the thick of the action. .
The action is never that big. Gillen and Hoult start off so smooth and professional, but get more and more sloppy as the movie progresses, to the point that they become jerks at the end. It’s not exactly laughable that one is foiled by the local sheriff (Jon Bernthal) and his wife (Medina Senghore) but it is laughable that the other, heavily armed, mind you, is foiled by Jolie and Little.
Fire-related action, especially towards the end, is marred by the emphasis on fire and not smoke. Not only are the dangers of smoke inhalation virtually ignored, but it’s only in a Hollywood movie with an overpaid special effects team that you will see so many aggressive flames so devoid of smoke.
It didn’t strike me until after the movie ended that Connor was the main character, given how much the commercial emphasizes Jolie as the protagonist. But then the title doesn’t make sense.
The bad guys want Connor dead because he’s in possession of dangerous information. They have to get rid of Hannah because she’s protecting Connor, but they don’t want her until she’s dead. In fact, one of them never even meets Hannah and the other interacts with her for three minutes.
I’m not sure Jolie is the best casting choice for Hannah. She’s the kind of character that only works if she doesn’t have a good chemistry with kids, so the movie can play on the contrast. Jolie is such a famous mom, it’s hard not to see the mom-bear instinct kick in as Hannah protects Connor.
Although I guess it’s nice to see her teaching him a dirty tongue twister to make him forget the danger.
There isn’t much good or even remarkable about “Those Who Wish Me Death”. I’m only criticizing it because it came in third at the box office on a weekend with no new wide releases, but this movie will soon be forgotten.