Interceptor movie review: The new Netflix movie, which is neither cheap, cheesy, or has a strong central performance by Elsa Pataky, is a thinly-veiled propaganda piece that no amount of star cameos can rescue.
In the film Top Gun: Maverick, Tom Cruise’s brave pilot makes a brilliant tactical maneuver by destroying the opponent’s airbase before launching an attack on their soil. By the time the enemy realized what was happening, it was already crippled. Interceptor, which is released on Netflix today, has a similar setup but peaks in its first few seconds when it displays this fascinating concept in text on screen.
The film informs us in the first minutes of America having two secret bases designed specifically to intercept and destroy Russian warheads. A Russian nuclear missile would take 24 minutes to reach the United States, and the US would have only 12 minutes to detect and shoot it down, according on the movie. The movie starts out with one of those bases being taken over by Russian terrorists, and our hero, JJ, is heading to the second. She doesn’t yet realize it, but the next base will be seized by renegade personnel as well, and she’ll be the final person standing between them and command center. Talk about a difficult first day at work.
Interceptor is a ticking time-bomb thriller that consistently undermines itself, relying on cheap effects, cheesy dialogue, and bad acting. JJ isn’t an exceptional fit for the role as Elsa Pataky, a veteran of the Fast and Furious franchise who has appeared in only one scene or two per film in the past. In its first fight, the film wisely chooses to highlight her skills rather than rely on humor—a sharp contrast from Extraction‘s Sam Hargrave’s involvement. However, when she’s required to do some weepy melodrama, she struggles. Interceptor gives JJ an unnecessary backstory that it subsequently pushes down the audience’s throats in order to appear culturally aware.
We’re told that JJ was sexually harassed by a general several years ago, but no action was taken. Instead, she was vilified for drawing attention to his behavior. The interception base gig is essentially a punishment posting. Interceptor has little idea how to deal with the fact accurately. It’s also the sort of film that just wants to get JJ out of her military uniform as quickly as possible. Not only does she rip it off in less than 10 minutes, but she spends the rest of the movie wearing just her undershirt, which is, at least in the film’s final moments, completely wet.
This is also the sort of film in which the antagonist broadcasts his intentions to the entire globe rather than, you know, proceeding discreetly with them? When this scene’s tension is underlined by a celebrity cameo that is played for laughs during this time, the movie even undercuts it. By the way, if you know who Pataky is, you won’t get any points for guessing his identity. Later, when the bad guy takes JJ’s loved one captive in order to extort her by threatening her family, he laughs triumphantly, “This is what I was trained for: military intelligence, finding your opponent’s vulnerability and exploiting it!”
I understand that my description of this film might suggest that it’s one of those “so awful that it’s amusing” situations. Let me stop you right there. It’s so terrible that it border on unwatchable. Shershaah, for example, had better visual effects than this movie, which looks like it was made for $500. And guess what? Even that appears to be a waste.
Now you can watch this movie on Cinema HD app.
Directed by: Matthew Reilly
Story by: Matthew Reilly
Starring: Elsa Pataky, Luke Bracey
Release date: June 3, 2022
Running time: 92 minutes
Country: United States, Australia