This Who Wish Me Dead is based on a book by Michael Koryta. It’s the latest film from director Taylor Sheridan (Sicario Hell or High Water-Wind River) He has a penchant for making these modern films but putting a classic feel to them. Or as they say, making neo-noir films. This has that kind of feeling to it. It’s a talent lost among directors today. That sets Sheridan apart from his peers.
The film starts in Florida with a father and son. They see some disturbing news on the tv and set out on a road trip cross country. They get tracked down in Montana and then all hell breaks loose. Angelina Jolie plays a firefighter in Montana and Jon Bernthal plays a sheriff. The events that take the father and son to Montana end up getting these actors’ characters involved in the lives of the others. Along with two hitmen played by Aiden Guillen and Nicolas Holt, this cast is stacked.
Set mostly on the Montana wilderness, Those Who Wish Me Dead is basically your run-of-the-mill story of people on the run from men who wish them dead. A classic western trope, but made complex by the nature of a fire that is raging all around the surrounding areas the film takes place in. Sheridan uses this fire to his advantage very nicely. It helps make this story a bit claustrophobic which helps contain the story. Containing it to these select characters helps focus it in one direction.
Angelina Jolie is channeling her motherly instincts in this film. This story falls right into her hands because of what she has to do in the film. She has to care for a character and look out for him because of the difficult situation he’s in. He has nobody to turn to or trust except for her. She is right at home caring for him and his needs and protecting him when necessary.
Sheridan has a way of setting his films whether adapted from a book or not in reality. They have a way of looking and feeling genuine to society. I like that about his films. Setting them in the modern-day yet having classic story beats that make them feel that much more authentic. The viewers feel for his characters and more or less can relate to them on a personal level.
This film is part of Warner Brothers’ role out of their films on their streaming platform as well as in theaters. It will benefit from this dual release. This film as others from Warner Brothers have a cinematic feeling to them and need to be seen on the big screen. A lot of people still aren’t comfortable seeing movies in theaters yet so this streaming release also provides a place for them to see this exciting action-packed film in the comfort of their own homes.
Those Who Wish me Dead is a very good action-packed thriller. It has some very good acting from its stellar cast including Angelina Jolie, Jon Bernthal, and young Noah Jupe. The set of the film in Montana was a very effective part of the film because it allowed for the survival and maternal aspects of the film and characters to come to the forefront. Sheridan has another winner on his hands here and you can watch it where ever you like, in a theater or at home on HBOMax. That’s the best part!
Dan Skip Allen