Director: Taylor Sheridan
Writers: Michael Koryta, Charles Leavitt, Taylor Sheridan
Staring: Angelina Jolie, Finn Little, Jon Bernthal
Streaming: HBO MAX
Release Date: May 14, 2021

Those Who Wish Me Dead is a throwback movie. It is a 90s action movie wrapped in expensive gift wrap with a bow on top. Directed by Taylor Sheridan, Those Who Wish Me Dead relies on the performances a bit more than his previous movies. Despite the below par writing (for a Sheridan movie), the movie survives the entertainment test and is acts as classic comfort food.

While Angelina Jolie is beautiful and fun to watch as Hannah, the best acting in the movie is done by Finn Little, who plays the child, Connor. Connor sees his father murdered by a shadow organization and finds himself on the run in the Montana wilderness where he eventually meets forest firefighter Hannah. Together they try and survive the dangers in order to share the truth as to why Connor’s dad was killed.

The plot of Those Who Wish Me Dead swirls around the classic character needing internal redemption after having beaten themselves up for a failure that led to pain. Hannah is drowning in her own self-doubt but when she meets Connor, it is a chance to prove herself again.

The way this arc is a throwback is because we see the desperation of Hannah’s plight with one scene of her doing something reckless in a truck and that is our sign to show “she doesn’t care for herself as much as she should.”

The most 90s, classic action movie trope, of Those Who Wish Me Dead are the two assassins, Patrick (Nicholas Hoult) and Jack (Aidan Gillen). Both are interesting characters, but the craziest thing is that they get less and less formidable and more and more stupid as the movie goes on. I mean Patrick has Hannah behind a a tree with a gun while she only has a knife…you should be able to get that done.

Has Jon Bernthal become the ultimate “that guy” in Hollywood? Everything that he is in is good. He plays Ethan in Those Who Wish Me Dead, the ex of Hannah and a police officer who gets wrapped up in the fiasco. He has a pregnant wife he cares about deeply and by the end of the movie I wish he was in the movie war.

It has to be said that Hannah quasi adopting Connor and making sure he is safe and saying she will be there for him at the end is funny considering that Jolie has a massive family and has adapted many children.

Also. Angelina, come back to acting. You have a presence. You are magnetic. Get back into the action movie game and team up with Charlize Theron.

STANKO RATING: B (3.5/5 Stars)

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