Director: Taylor Sheridan
Cast: Angelina Jolie, Nicholas Hoult, Finn Little
Release Date: August 3, 2021
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 7.5/10
Disc Rating: 7/10
Oscar winner Jolie stars as Hannah, a smoke jumper reeling from the loss of three young lives she failed to save from a fire. When she comes across a bloodied and traumatized 12-year-old boy, the two set out together to cross miles of thick forest. Braving deadly lightning storms that challenge even Hannah’s well-honed survival skills, they’re unaware of the true dangers they face as they’re hunted by two killers while a massive fiery blaze heads straight for them.
Please Note: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
‘Those Who Wish Me Dead’ tells the story of a talented smoke jumper named Hannah (Jolie) plagued by a loss she was unable to prevent in the field, and a young boy on the run with his father after his dad doing the right thing leads to two dangerous hitmen on the hunt for them. As the boy finds himself in desperate need of help and happens across Hannah, the two quickly develop a bond as she takes on the burden of trying to protect him. While the assassins tracking him down begin to close in on one direction and a deadly fire blazes in the other, the two will have to find a way to overcome one or both of these deadly obstacles if they hope to survive the night.
Directed by talented filmmaker Taylor Sheridan (Wind River) from a screenplay that he additionally co-wrote with Charles Leavitt (Blood Diamond) and Michael Koryta, based upon the book by Koryta respectively, Sheridan does a great job at the helm of ‘Those Who Wish Me Dead’ guiding along the tense ride with plenty of heart and style. The film also owes some credit to the well selected cast which includes Angelina Jolie (Maleficent), Nicholas Hoult (The Favourite), Finn Little (TV’s Reckoning), Aiden Gillen (TV’s Game of Thrones), Medina Senghore (TV’s Dr. Death), Tyler Perry (Vice), Jake Weber (TV’s Homeland) and Jon Bernthal (Baby Driver) along with more, the majority each offering solid performances for the most part in their respective roles.
‘Those Who Wish Me Dead’ is an enjoyable and fast paced thriller that keeps things simple and familiar throughout while never trying to break any new ground or do something unique or clever with the tale. Instead concentrating on crafting a simple, yet effective cat and mouse tale complimented by plenty of gorgeous scenery, some heart, action and a palpable level of tension, along with a highly capable cast that all helps it to evolve into something more than the generic offering it might have been without Sheridan or some of these other talented folks involved. It certainly doesn’t reach the level of outstanding that ‘Wind River’ (the last film Taylor Sheridan helmed which you can read my Blu-ray review of Right Here) managed to achieve, but it’s also a long way from terrible and at the same time is largely reminiscent of the type of action suspense thrillers that were a great deal more frequent in decades past but are still always a welcome treat. It may not be absolutely perfect or the film of the year, not does it really need to be. I would strongly encourage giving ‘Those Who Wish Me Dead’ a shot, especially for any fans of Sheridan and/or the key cast, along with anyone who enjoys a fairly basic and by the book thriller done right that should keep you on the edge of your seat throughout most of it.
Overall, ‘Those Who Wish Me Dead’ is a mostly by the book thriller that doesn’t bring anything real new or clever to the fold, yet does a highly capable job of delivering a solid thriller with plenty of tense moments and a great cast to back it up. ‘Those Who Wish Me Dead’ is definitely recommended, particularly for fans of Taylor Sheridan and/or Angelina Jolie, in addition to anyone who enjoys a simple, exciting and nail biting thriller the likes of which we don’t see quite as frequently these days. It may not be entirely perfect but for the most part ‘Those Who Wish Me Dead’ delivers quite nicely and shouldn’t have any trouble keeping you thoroughly entertained for its duration. If you’re looking for an exciting and well-crafted thriller to enjoy one easygoing evening at home, this one should be worth taking the time to check out.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Those Who Wish Me Dead’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation with the film’s original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks quite nice as a whole and provides a clean, sharply detailed and gorgeously colored presentation from start to finish with no problems or issues to be found along the way. It holds up admirably even during the darkly lit and fast moving moments, never allowing anything occurring onscreen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a solid high definition video presentation that should satisfy fans as well as first time viewers.
The Blu-ray release features a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This multichannel soundtrack nicely compliments the onscreen tension and offers a clean, sharp and hard hitting audio presentation throughout. It repeatedly takes advantage of all five available channels at every logical opportunity in order to send gunshots flying, fire booming and plenty more throughout the various speakers, while never resulting in any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously becoming distorted or rendered inaudible in the process. Overall, this is a highly capable 5.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack that delivers splendidly in every way and shouldn’t disappoint.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Those Who Wish Me Dead’ includes one extra, the Behind the Scenes Featurette ‘Making Those Who Wish Me Dead’ (running approximately 14 minutes in length) which explores elements of bringing the film to life and includes interviews/comments with the cast and crew, plus behind the scenes footage and more.
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They will additionally suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Film Rating: 7.5/10
Disc Rating: 7/10
‘Those Who Wish Me Dead’ is Now Available to Own on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital from New Line Cinema & Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
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