TL;DR – A one-dimensional film that gives the narrative nowhere to hide, thus revealing its flaws at every stage.
Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene
Disclosure – I paid for the Netflix service that viewed this video.
Interceptor Review –
There are some films that you know were filmed in Australia without checking. It can be the supporting cast being filled with characters actors you have grown up with, or it could just be the specific energy the film gives off. Today, we look at just such a film, also one that might just have a significantly higher opinion on the ability to shoot down nuclear weapons than what is born out in reality.
So to set the scene, we open with a military base under attack, a substantial military base because Fort Greely in Alaska is one of only two places where America can launch interceptors to shoot down nuclear weapon attacks from Russia. On the only other INTERCEPTOR base, the floating SBX-1, Captain JJ Collins (Elsa Pataky) is returning after a battle with the US Brass around sexual assault, which is when they discover that first that Greely has gone dark and then that Tavlinka, a nuclear facility in Russia, has been attacked and terrorists have stolen 16 nuclear weapons. Those weapons are now aimed at America, looking to take out 16 major cities like Los Angeles and Boston. JJ and the base commander Colonel Marshal (Rhys Muldoon), began preparations to lock down the base when they discovered the hard way they had been infiltrated by the terrorist as well. Now JJ has to fight for her life to stop America from being attacked.
When it comes to setup, there are some good points here. The first is two different ticking clocks. They have 60 minutes till the terrorist cut their way into the command room, where two signal guys, Beaver (Aaron Glenane) and Rahul (Mayen Mehta), try not to lose their lunches because they are not ready for this. While the terrorist will breach the room in 60 minutes, it will be 90 minutes before the SEAL team can get there, a thirty-minute disparity. The nuclear apocalypse threat is also a good motivator for everyone not giving a single inch. Adding to this, containing most of the action into one set amplifies the tension.
However, while there may be an interesting setup, that might be the only thing it had going for it bar from some concrete action setpieces. The first issue is that there is zero subtlety in this film, nor nuance, just wall to wall exposition and clichéd characterisation. This can be interesting when exploring these kinds of tropes from a fresh angle. However, everything is played entirely straight here, creating a jarring tonal experience. To be fair, I think the cast is doing their best with what they are doing, but it does not help when every single person is one-dimensional.
Once you have these frustratingly created characters, it gives the film nowhere to hide, thus revealing its flaws at every stage. To begin with, there are no stakes at any point in the movie. There are no consequences in this film to give it any tension indeed, the narrative decision to intercept that first missile torpedoed any chance of the third act having any impact. The smaller budget also seeped through in places, like there not being enough time for the actors to nail their American accents. Also, a cameo is fun. A recurring gag is distracting.
In the end, do we recommend Interceptor? Unfortunately, I think the answer is no. I think the cast is doing their best, and there are some exciting action moments. However, a lot of this film is just a slog and a tonal mess. If you liked Interceptor, I would also recommend to you Jolt.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Interceptor
Directed by – Matthew Reilly
Story by – Matthew Reilly
Screenplay by – Matthew Reilly & Stuart Beattie
Music by – Michael Lira
Cinematography by – Ross Emery
Edited by – Rowan Maher
Production/Distribution Companies – Ambience Entertainment, Foryor Entertainment & Netflix
Starring – Elsa Pataky, Luke Bracey, Aaron Glenane, Mayen Mehta, Rhys Muldoon, Belinda Jombwe, Marcus Johnson, Colin Friels, Zoe Carides & Chris Hemsworth
Rating – Australia: MA15+;