Did watching this make me wish I was dead? Not exactly. It’s fine. But it’s also not nearly as good as Taylor Sheridan’s other works, like SICARIO or HELL OR HIGH WATER.
THOSE WHO WISH ME DEAD feels like a dated throwback movie that would have been a top-seller at the rise of Jolie’s career. It’s a bit of a slow burn (pun intended), with great performances from Jolie and her excellent 15-year-old co-star Finn Little (in his first major studio film role), as well as co-star Medina Senghore. But it admittedly does feel a bit been-there-done-that for 2021.
That’s not to say it’s not entertaining. After a pretty dull first act where not a whole lot is established, things start to pick up and get a bit better as the real story and central relationship between Jolie’s and Little’s characters begins to develop. The chase and action begin to intensify during this time as well, upping the stakes, and keeping you engaged enough. But they also play out quite predictably. And for someone like Sheridan who is usually pretty reliable about reinventing old-fashioned tropes and notions into something epic and new, this ends up feeling a bit too tired and old, and somewhat disappointing; particularly with very stock boring antagonists in Nicholas Hoult and Aiden Gillen.
See it if you’re bored and looking for something not very complex. It’s entertaining enough. It’s just also forgettable enough.
THOSE WHO WISH ME DEAD is now in theaters and on HBO MAX.