Monday, February 6, 2023

Interceptor (2022)


                “Interceptor” is an Australian war movie produced by Netflix.  It was directed by Matthew Reilly.  He is a famous action thriller novelist.  It is his directorial debut and he wrote the screenplay.  It cost only about $15 million because it is mainly set on an oil platform, but that is fine because there are early warning platforms along the east coast of America left over from the Cold War.

                The movie takes place in the near future.  The audience is told that an ICBM only takes 24 minutes to go from Russia to the United States.  There are only two early warning stations equipped with rockets to intercept them.  The land based one has been taken out by terrorists.  The other is a located in the middle of the ocean on what looks like an oil platform, but actually has a powerful radar system and interceptor missiles (hence the title) that can shoot down nuclear missiles.  Missile systems specialist Capt. JJ Collins (Elsa Pataky)  arrives on the platform.  Talk about bad timing… unless you are the only one who can prevent WWIII.  Someone has taken 16 Russian nuclear missile mobile launchers and the other interceptor base has been taken out.  Soon, it is their turn.  The villain, who leads a bunch of mercenaries onto the platform, is named Kessel (Luke Bracey).  There is a woman in the gang, so you can anticipate a girl fight.  Speaking of fighting, Collins is an ass-kicker.  She manages to close the doors to the headquarters and now Kessel will have to break in to stop the interceptors from shooting  down the missiles.  She is assisted by the nerdy Rahul Shah (Mayen Mehta) who is in the movie to show that Middle Easterners are not always the bad guys.  Kessel claims he wants to start civilization over again.  Wait, I thought he was the villain.  He fires a missile at Los Angeles.  Collins will have to fire an interceptor or the city will die, including one electronics store employee.

                “Interceptor” is your basic action thriller involving terrorists trying to kill a bunch of people.  It is full of the usual cliches.  There’s a mole.  The terrorists have a surprise agenda.  Their leader is charming, but malevolent.  Only one person can save the world.  That person has brains as well as brawn.  They’ll need it because obstacles keep popping up.  It used to be that casting the hero as a heroin would make the movie different, but by now we have seen other female butt-kickers.  The butts are kicked in a variety of ways.  For instance, “Interceptor” includes three shots to the chest followed by a gun barrel in the eye, a shotgun blast, a machine gunning, glue in the throat, and a cut throat. 

                Collins is a charismatic hero.  She is similar to John McClane. But her gotcha lines are unmemorable.  She gets a back-story involving sexual harassment.  There are some flashbacks to flesh out her background.  Kessel is a good villain, and easy on the eyes, ladies.  The set is satisfactory and serves as your typical small area where the hero and the bad guys can play some cat and mouse with fatal consequences for all the villains, and all but one of their opponents.  Director Reilly does a competent job and the movie does not look like a straight-to-DVD cheapie.

                As with all films of its ilk, you best turn off your brain for the viewing.  The whole plot is laughably ludicrous.  Before you start building a bomb shelter, be aware that America’s defense against nuclear attack does not depend on just two easy to take out bases.  We have satellites to pick up threatening missile launches and our ABMs (anti-ballistic missiles) will shoot them down.  Well, now that I think about it, since hitting a nuclear missile is incredibly hard, maybe you should build that bomb shelter.  And you Tennesseans living in Memphis, don’t assume you are safe because according to this movie you would be one of the sixteen American cities that the terrorists would target. 

                If you take it for what it unashamedly strives to be, you will be entertained by this movie.  It has some good fights and a feisty protagonist.  The actress that plays Collins happens to be married to Chris Hemsworth.  He has a cameo in his wife’s movie and his scenes are the best parts of the movie.  He plays that electronics store employee in Los Angeles.  He is hilarious as a laid-back slacker.




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