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Taylor Sheridan
Angelina Jolie, Jon Bernthal, Nicholas Hoult
Writing Credits:
Michael Koryta, Charles Leavitt, Taylor Sheridan

A teenage murder witness finds himself pursued by twin assassins in the Montana wilderness with a survival expert tasked with protecting him -- and a forest fire threatening to consume them all.

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English Descriptive Audio US
English Descriptive Audio UK
French Dolby 5.1
German Dolby 5.1
German Descriptive Audio
Spanish Dolby 5.1
Castillian Dolby 5.1
Portuguese Dolby 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 100 min.
Price: $34.98
Release Date: 8/3/2021

• ďMaking Those Who Wish Me DeadĒ Featurette


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Those Who Wish Me Dead [Blu-Ray] (2021)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (August 9, 2021)

Though best known as the writer of the scripts for acclaimed films like Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan also garnered positive attention for his second feature as a director, 2017ís Wind River. Sheridan directs his third feature with 2021ís Those Who Wish Me Dead.

Forensic accountant Owen Casserly (Jake Weber) learns that his boss died in an apparent gas explosion. However, as he knows of various misdeeds, he suspects murder and believes assassins Jack (Aidan Gillen) and Patrick Blackwell (Nicholas Hoult) will target him next.

Along with son Connor (Finn Little), Owen hightails it to Montana, where he seeks protection from his brother-in-law, Deputy Sheriff Ethan Sawyer (Jon Bernthal). Before they arrive, though, the Blackwells get to them and leave Owen near death.

Owen passes on critical information to Connor and instructs him to escape. Along the way, Connor meets troubled ďsmokejumperĒ Hannah Faber (Angelina Jolie) and the pair attempt to survive the onslaught from the Blackwells.

For the first decade of the 21st century, Jolie stood as one of the most successful actresses in Hollywood. Of course, her presence as a tabloid darling accentuated her fame, but she also become the pre-eminent American female action star and more than held her own.

After 2010ís The Tourist, though, Jolie spent four years away from live-action films before she returned with 2014ís Maleficent. Jolie then only made three more live-action flicks in the seven years between Maleficent and Dead.

Some of that occurred because Jolie worked as a director on a few films, but much of her time away from the screen came from her preference to pursue humanitarian goals. I find it hard to fault her desire to use her fame for good causes, even if I missed Jolie as an actor.

Unfortunately, Dead doesnít become a great showcase for Jolieís talents, partly because she plays a surprisingly small role. While youíll find the names of no other actors on the Blu-ray cover art to the left, Jolieís Hannah doesnít get as much to do as one might expect.

Undeniably, the promotional material for Dead accentuates Jolieís presence, and trailers imply that it will mainly follow the efforts of Hannah and Connor to survive. However, the film veers down many other paths and makes Hannah much less prominent anticipated.

This becomes an issue, and not just because the audience expects more Jolie. Dead casts a fairly broad net in terms of characters, and this means that we donít get to know any of them as well as we should.

Again, Hannah becomes the biggest concern here, though that stems more from the presence of Jolie than anything else. Without all the publicity that surrounds her status in the film, we wouldnít feel surprised to see as little of Hannah as we do.

However, our Jolie-related expectations donít turn into the sole issue, as the story itself sets up Hannah in a manner it doesnít quite fulfill. Since we get decent exploration of her haunted past, we expect Hannah to dominate the narrative, but instead, it spreads itself semi-thin.

As such, Dead can feel somewhat unfocused. If it ran longer, it might find the space to explore the expanded roster of characters, but at a semi-short 100 minutes, it lacks the room it needs to satisfy so many roles.

Because of this, the story jumps around more than it should. We find ourselves stretched across a lot of character and narrative elements, and they donít click as tightly as they should.

None of these factors make Dead a bad movie, as it manages to create a perfectly watchable experience. A solid cast helps, as we find a strong roster of professionals.

Actually, the most compelling part comes from one I didnít mention: Allison (Medina Senghore), Ethanís pregnant wife. To avoid spoilers, I wonít say much, but she steals the show in her limited screentime.

If they make a sequel that focuses on Allison, Iíll buy a ticket. Until then, Dead offers a moderately compelling but somewhat disappointing drama/adventure.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B+/ Bonus C-

Those Who Wish Me Dead appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a strong visual presentation.

Sharpness pleased. Some interiors delivered minor softness, but overall delineation appeared positive.

I saw no shimmering or jaggies, and the image also lacked edge haloes. Of course, print flaws remained absent.

Donít expect anything out of the ordinary from the filmís palette, as it emphasized teal and amber like so many other movies these days. That was uncreative but the hues seemed well-rendered.

Blacks also came across well. Dark tones appeared deep and rich, and low-light shots brought us smooth, clear imagery. Really, I could find little about which to complain, as this became a consistently appealing presentation.

Similar thoughts greeted the good DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Dead. I felt the soundscape delivered an involving experience in which the many action scenes offered a nice sense of impact.

The film packed plenty of these elements, as we got many instances of gunfire, explosions, fire and other lively tidbits. Overall, the mix filled out the room in a satisfying manner.

Audio quality was positive. Speech came across as natural and concise, without edginess or other issues. Music showed good range, and effects offered a nice sense of impact.

These were the kind of loud, impressive elements one would anticipate, as they showed solid clarity. This was a positive soundtrack.

One featurette appears here: The Making of Those Who Wish Me Dead. In this 14-minute, 30-second piece, we hear from writer/director Taylor Sheridan, author Michael Koryta, executive producers Katheryn Dean and Michael Friedman, stunt coordinator Wade Allen, location manager Ariel Lopez, special effects coordinator Daniel Holt, visual effects supervisor Jason Chen, and actors Angelina Jolie, Nicholas Hoult, Jon Bernthal, Aiden Gillan, Finn Little, and Medina Senghore.

The show looks at sets and locations, Sheridanís impact on the production, shooting fire sequences, cast and performances, and stunts/action. ďMakingĒ offers a serviceable production overview.

As a thriller/drama, Those Who Wish Me Dead becomes a satisfactory tale but not one that excels. With a good cast, it does enough right to keep us with it, but it lacks consistency. The Blu-ray boasts very good picture and audio but it doesnít include substantial bonus materials. This ends up as a watchable movie that lacks what it needs to become special.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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