Nathan is a film critic and aspiring author with a true passion for the film industry who hopes his writings will help launch his career.
Sometimes films can have so much going on that it's easy to get lost in the mayhem and lose track of all the plot points. Thankfully, Those Who Wish Me Dead is a film that knows what it is and what it wants to say. The various plot threads cohesively flow together by the end in a satisfying way.
The film follows a teenage murder witness who finds himself pursued by twin assassins in the Montana wilderness with a firefighter protecting him and a forest fire threatening to consume them all.
There's so much good in the film that far outweighs the one or two negative moments and proves director Taylor Sheridan still has his magic touch and brilliance.
To review the story, I have to break it down into parts. First, Hannah's story has a tragic beginning and seeing her journey with Connor and facing her past is has a beautiful full-circle quality to it. Second, Connor's just a scared kid who has to find his courage quickly in order to do what needs to be done. Third, the assassins are desperate to find Connor in order to take the incriminating evidence he has against them and ensure their escape.
The film's buildup of suspense is perfect although it sadly does end in a predictable way. Aside from that, however, the story-driven character progression is beautiful and subtle.
There's not many negatives in the movie. In fact, I can only think of one. While outrunning a lightning storm, Connor decides to have an emotional moment with Hannah. While the moment was a nice, tender connection between the two heartbroken individuals, perhaps during a lightning storm wouldn't be the best time for it. But hey, that's one small gripe and does not take away from the meaning and emotional impact of the film as a whole.
Angelina Jolie made a brilliant comeback in this film. She was able to show her emotional and dramatic range. Finn Little is a talented young actor with a promising career ahead of him. He was convincing as Connor and made us feel for him. Nicholas Hoult and Aidan Gillen were outstanding as the two assassins. Aidan is used to being a villain, but Nicholas usually plays a protagonist. Seeing him in a villain role was certainly interesting and he pulled it off nicely.
In conclusion, the film is a solid entry in Taylor Sheridan's spectacular career and is definitely worth watching. Those Who Wish Me Dead is emotional, intense, and ultimately beautiful. I give the film a 3 out of 4.
© 2021 Nathan Jasper