“Those Who Wish Me Dead” encompasses stories of life, loss and survival beginning with a vivid memory of firefighters jumping from helicopters, only to realize the wildfire’s rushing heat is moving toward them.
The film stars Jon Bernthal as Sheriff Ethan Sawyer and Angelina Jolie as troubled firefighter Hannah Faber. On the opposing side, actors Aiden Gillen and Nicholas Hoult command their coldhearted roles as Jack and Patrick Blackwell.
During the movie, the viewer experiences both the horrors of wildfires and the evil of mankind at war. Both frightening and interesting, the film balances country and city lifestyles for a unique contrast to some thrillers.
Directed by Taylor Sheridan, the film received a 71% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but this doesn’t reflect the thoughtful survivalist story and cinematics. To give the rating some credit, scattered instances of unrealistic scenes catch the eye of an overwhelmed viewer.
An active threat to a father and son makes the viewer wait in mild suspense to gather clues on the plans of the antagonists. Connor Casserly, the 11-year-old boy played by actor Finn Little, holds a paper of his father’s newfound secrets. It contains a note that he must show to the press and someone he learns to trust but never read for himself.
Tragedy strikes like lightning more than once, making the viewer’s heartache with fear and disgust.
Thinking back to the 2020 wildfires in Washington and Oregon, the movie captures the uncertainty and mentions the true effects of potentially lethal career fields, with mental health at the forefront. It explores the tragedy of murder victims, hoping to capture our empathy as we follow Connor’s life story.
Certain scenes can be challenging to forget, and “Those Who Wish Me Dead” does a decent job at maintaining interest with plot structure. Overall, the film could have benefited from a different production studio than Warner Brothers to influence the direction of its R-rated atmosphere and gore.
The faint of heart should be wary, but for mature adults interested in beautiful and terrifying cinematics, this thriller will make you anticipate each scene. With a soundtrack that enhances the dramatic moments and emphasizes sorrow, the film can be streamed on HBO Max until June 14.
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