Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Interceptor (2022)

Streaming Service: Netflix
Movie Name/Year: Interceptor (2022)
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama
Length: 1h 36min
Rating: TV-MA
Production/Distribution: Ambience Entertainment, Foryor Entertainment, Netflix
Director: Matthew Reilly
Writers: Stuart Beattie, Matthew Reilly
Actors: Elsa Pataky, Luke Bracey, Aaron Glenane, Mayen Mehta, Paul Caesar, Belinda Jombwe, Marcus Johnson
IMDb Blurb: One Army captain must use her years of tactical training and military expertise when a simultaneous coordinated attack threatens the remote missile interceptor station she is in command of.

Selina’s Point of View:
Interceptor had a lot of potential, but it kept getting in its own way.
With the feel of a campy 80s action and a semi-fresh plot, Interceptor could have been outstanding. Unfortunately, there were several issues that kept it from meeting expectations.
For one, the acting was questionable. There were a few scenes here or there that worked, but mostly the actors felt wrong. There was one scene where Mayen Mehta (Sweet Tooth, Fresh Eggs, Power Rangers Dino Fury) finally felt like a good fit, and a couple of scenes where Elsa Pataky (Snakes on a Plane, Fast Five, Tidelands) worked. For the most part the performances either went too far – into ridiculousness – or not far enough.

I thought I was going to love Luke Bracey’s (The November Man, The Best of Me, Point Break) take on the villain, but he never quite took it far enough. He never fully embodied Alexander Kessel. Every moment was just a smidge off. With a bit of a tweak to his performance, he could have been on the level of Hans Gruber, but he just never took that last step.
In fact, the best performance was from a cameo. I’d say it’s the strangest, and least expected, cameo I’ve ever seen. And I’ve seen Eminem come out in The Interview (2014). I don’t want to ruin it, so that’s all I’ll say.
The writing was also not quite where it needed to be. For Matthew Reilly, this was his first full-length feature debut as a writer. So, I’m willing to give a lot of leeway where the script is concerned… and it did show promise. The problem is, I don’t know if that was his talent shining through or help from his more established co-writer, Stuart Beattie (I Frankenstein, 30 Days of Night, Collateral).
Interceptor could have been great, but it wound up feel unfinished. It needed better acting and a better edited script. Might be worth watching for the cameo, though…

Cat’s Point of View:

I had relatively high hopes for Interceptor. The trailer left me with the feeling that it would be a decent popcorn action movie to kick off the summer movie season. I hesitate to use the word ‘blockbuster’ here, even though it hit the #1 spot on Netflix very shortly after release. That was a little surprising, in the wake of watching it; however, I did have Interceptor listed as #8 on my personal Top 20 List for this June.

Elsa Pataky (Furious 7, 12 Strong, Tidelands) and Luke Bracey (The November Man, Hacksaw Ridge, American Dream) were solid draws to this title for me. I enjoyed their characters’ back and forth in the trailer and it appeared as if Interceptor would have banter that would stir pleasant nostalgia for classic action films of yesteryear. 

I’m not exactly sure that Interceptor hit the mark. There was just something missing and a few points that I just wasn’t able to buy-in to what was happening on the screen. It was decent and I didn’t feel I’d wasted my time. I’m just likely not going to remember much about this movie with the passage of time.
There was a cameo that popped up sprinkled throughout Interceptor that had me giggling and, honestly, made the whole thing worth it and fun in spite of its flaws.

This was the feature debut for writer, director Matthew Reilly. The Australian author has plenty of experience with story craft, with well over a dozen novels under his belt. His work has also landed on the bestseller lists on numerous occasions, apparently. I’m unfamiliar with his body of work, personally, but from what I can gather, Interceptor is the sort of story that he tends to lean towards.
In a Variety interview, he explained that his novels have been optioned by Hollywood before, but the budgets required to realize them on-screen have tended to be prohibitive. His desire with Interceptor was to take something in his style and strip it down a bit to something more feasible. It is clear, however, that he has already been working with Netflix on developing a sequel. Considering the streaming performance that surprised even Reilly, it’s likely he’ll have a little more leeway on the 2nd outing to go bigger. I hope so, at least.  (Just a note, the linked article contains spoilers – so read at your own risk if you haven’t watched the movie yet.)
Hopefully, Reilly will have a chance to iron out any kinks that cropped up with Interceptor as he further gets into his directorial stride.
Interceptor wasn’t a bad concept and it was entertaining. I understand why reviews are so mixed about the production, however. If you have some time to kill and this sort of story is your jam, I’d say  Interceptor is worth a shot.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 43%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score –19%
Metascore – 51%
Metacritic User Score – 3.2/10
IMDB Score – 4.4/10
Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating – 2/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 3/5

P.S. - There is a brief mid-credits scene. 
Movie Trailer:

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