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Those Who Wish Me Dead (NC16)

Starring Angelina Jolie, Finn Little, Jon Bernthal

Directed by Taylor Sheridan

​​​​​​​Let’s be brutally frank: Angelina Jolie’s two-second appearance in the first-look footage of The Eternals in that Marvel sizzle reel is way more exciting than the entire time she’s in this middling Montana wilderness-set thriller. As Hannah — a smoke jumper still spooked by memories of a failed rescue mission (cue ‘Catapult Nightmare’ sequence!) — Jolie brings credibility to a predictable arc. As messed up as she is, she’s the best hope for Connor (Finn Little), a young lad with valuable intel on the run from two assassins (Aiden Gillen, typecast; Nicholas Hoult, playing against type). Hannah and Connor flee into the woods and the killers reckon the most effective way to get to them is to set the forest ablaze. Clearly, they are evil and stupid — what, they needed another challenge or something? Hannah’s redemption story, the eco-crisis, the hitman thriller never coalesce into Die Hard in a Forest Fire; it’s more like Mercury Rising in a Forest Fire, actually. The pacing is all over the place and Jolie takes too long to get into kick-ass Lara Croft (hello, axe pick!) mode. When she finally does, the movie is already burnt out. (1.5/5 stars)

Photo: Warner Bros Pictures

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