Time: 99 Minutes
Elsa Pataky as Captain J.J. Collins
Luke Bracey as Alexander Kessel
Director: Matthew Reilly
One Army captain is forced use her years of tactical training and military expertise when a simultaneous coordinated attack threatens the remote missile interceptor station of which she is in command.
I didn’t go into Interceptor expecting much. I really didn’t know anything about it beforehand, it was an action movie released on Netflix and it seemed very generic and familiar. My expectations turned out to be quite accurate because it was another straight to streaming action movie, and was pretty mediocre.
The premise of Interceptor is simple, the lead character is stuck in a room while armed people on the outside try to get in. There are also military stakes given that said room is capable of intercepting enemy missiles before they make impact with the United States. It is a very familiar plot and has all the tired tropes that you would expect. The story is predictable and is recycled from countless other action movies. It is very cheesy and over the top, particularly with its dialogue. Now that doesn’t sound bad out of context, in fact it sounds like it could be enjoyable. Indeed, there are many action movies that have repetitive and recycled plots and have ridiculous dialogue, but it sounded like it could be a throwback of action thrillers from the 90s like Under Siege. The problem is that Interceptor takes itself seriously, so it plays the absurd plot straight faced and the goofy dialogue doesn’t have the self-awareness that a Steven Seagal movie might have. There are some themes and topics which are conveyed through dialogue, which would be fine if it wasn’t so heavy handed. They also give the lead character a backstory where without going too into it, she had gone through a lot. At first, I thought that it was just an obligatory backstory they put in for her, but it’s a present aspect throughout. The film spends time showing what happened to her and it feels really out of place in this movie. Not to mention, I just don’t think that this script is good enough to properly handle a story of sexual abuse and harassment. That aside, I just think the script is badly written. The plot isn’t riveting and there are tons of exposition dumps. Even the setup in the opening act is clumsy. The runtime is short at a tight 98 minutes, but somehow it felt a lot longer than that. Any scene that didn’t contain action did drag.
The acting performances are not that good. For what its worth, Elsa Pataky is decent and tries her best in the lead role. Her character is definitely roughly written, but Pataky does somewhat elevate the movie. The supporting performances aren’t up to par unfortunately, outside of a funny cameo from Chris Hemsworth. The villains are terrible and underwritten, with the main antagonist played by Luke Bracey being cliched and not imposing at all.
The direction from Matthew Reilly is competent, yet average. The production value isn’t the best, as you would expect from a straight to streaming movie. The CGI when its there is terrible, especially when it comes to the missiles and explosions. That being said, the action scenes are some of the best parts of the movie. It’s not great but they are enjoyable to watch, you can see clearly what’s going on and there’s good stunt work. There are even some memorable and creative kills straight from an over the top 90s action flick.
Interceptor is an average straight to streaming action flick. It’s not one of the worst action movies ever but not good either. The action scenes are decently filmed, and Elsa Pataky does pretty well with what she is given. However, the script really lets the movie done quite some way, and had it been somewhat self-aware and leaned into that 90s throwback aspect, it might’ve been fun to watch in a cheesy way. As it is however, it is hard to enjoy watching.