TL;DR – While it starts a bit muddled, it soon picks up, and the third act had me on the edge of the seat.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
Disclosure – I was invited to a press screening of the film.
Those Who Wish Me Dead Review –
I am not sure what you feel when you hear the word ‘firestorm’, but for me and I think many Australians, there is a visceral terror as we have all seen that all-consuming force. We know that destruction, year after year, so when you set a film in this world, there is a kind of instant buy-in as to the danger from the moment that first spark gets set off. But for a movie to work, it needs to be more than that, which is what we get this week.
Set the scene, we open with a group of firelighters jumping out of a plane and parachuting down into the oncoming storm. They’re smokejumpers, and they are trying to make a firebreak and shore up the defences when the wind turns the fire directly at them. A year later, two men walk into the house of a district attorney in Fort Lauderdale, and minutes later, the house explodes, killing the whole family. Back in Jacksonville, Owen Casserly (Jake Weber), a forensic accountant, is getting his son Connor (Finn Little) ready for the day when he sees the news and immediately knows he is next. The two flee to Montana, where Owen’s brother-in-law Ethan Sawyer (Jon Bernthal) works as a sheriff, but just as they get close, the two men Jack (Aidan Gillen) and Patrick (Nicholas Hoult), attack.
TL;DR – A beautifully animated film with real heart and warmth, that elevates it above most ‘kids’ films that you see in cinemas.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
Before we start, let’s be honest for a moment, it is not that hard to make a successful kid’s film. Kid’s love simple slapstick humour, vibrant colourful characters, and hey chuck in a sing-along CD and a toy line and you’re set. Indeed parents like anything that they can sit their kid’s in front of so they can have a moment of peace to clean up the carnage that kids leave in their wake. This is why Angry Birds will be a financial success and parent’s cabinets are filled with DVDs of whatever Cars knockoff is going at the moment. Making a successful kid’s film, not that hard, making a good kid’s film, well that’s another thing entirely. However, after last week’s Zootopia and this week’s Kung Fu Panda 3 we can see that it is possible to create a kid’s film that is both successful and in fact really quite good. Indeed it is a really good time for animated films at the moment, and kid’s films in general, because people are actually taking the time to create thought-provoking quality work, see Inside Out, Wreck-it Ralph, Big Hero 6, How To Train Your Dragon, literally anything by Studio Ghibli and indeed today’s film Kung Fu Panda 3.