Interceptor is Netflix's new action feature film, written and directed by Matthew Reilly, a well-known Australian thriller writer who is famous for the Shane M. Schofield saga, Hover Car Racer, and Jack West Jr. It is certainly interesting that such a prolific author has had the opportunity to express his narrative philosophy on the small screen of the streaming world, but it is equally true that perhaps his daring adventures work better on paper. As fun and reckless as the film produced by Ambience Entertainment and For your Entertainment is, its predictability overwhelms it too much. The title, in other words, is based excessively on narrative keys, situations and stories already are widely known in the genre, if on the one hand, it is without fail, on the other, it limits any creative and original inspiration.
Inside Interceptor there are indeed unexpected directorial and narrative solutions, but they are suffocated by the precise intention to ride the wave of the already seen. The work, which arrived on Netflix on June 3, 2022, stars the wife of Chris Hemsworth, not surprisingly the producer of the project. Elsa Pataky plays the role of a brave and intrepid US Army captain who finds herself embroiled in a complicated nuclear impasse that forces her to fight a menacing group of terrorists.
Interceptor: an adventure with a classic flavor
In Interceptor, as in other films of the genre, the United States is called to face a threat that seriously risks destroying the part of the country, to rebuild a more equitable and less prone to injustice democratic force.
Some terrorists take possession of 16 Russian nuclear warheads and destroy one of the American missile defense bases. Only a remote outpost remains standing that is put to sword and fire: among the very few survivors, Captain J.J. Collins remains the last salvation of the American people and begins a psychological war with the leader of the villains, Alexander Kessel, waiting for the Navi Seals to arrive to rescue them. The protagonist is faced with a complicated decision: try to resist until the end by seriously risking her life or accept the terrorists' money and escape safely? Collins, of course, chooses the hardest path and this desperate undertaking, to bring a decent result to the screen, is inspired by the most popular action film titles. The script, in fact, rests on decidedly classic pillars to move with greater tranquility and not risk too much. In itself this approach shapes a story that, on a general level, works from start to finish, using all the tricks of the genre to entertain without too much effort and originality.
In reality, especially in writing, there are actually some surprises: there are unexpected twists and some passages on the finish that keep the audience glued to the screen. It is also noted that the screenwriter behind the script, Matthew Reilly, knows the language of tension well and uses it effectively to play with the spectators, often changing the cards. on the table.
A dynamic protagonist in a stereotypical context
Right from the start, among other things, with the characterization of Captain J.J. Collins, not only the purest and deepest values of the American constitution are buried, but one works on a character who could potentially share the ideals of terrorists.
The interesting aspect, in fact, is to use this unusual point of view to try to overturn the rules of the game: surely a broken and fragile woman as the engine of the story manages to attract more attention than the classic macho action movie. The biggest problems, however, are encountered in the construction of the background and the context in which the heroine moves: the antagonists are stereotyped and banal, while all the events are taken for granted and excessively predictable.
Although the fun is guaranteed in Interceptor, the feeling of already seen is continuous and the superficiality of the writing becomes too annoying, as well as the main obstacle of the project. On a directorial level, taking into account that Matthew Reilly is in his first assignment in this role, the result is sufficient: of course, don't expect who knows what technical feats, but with sobriety and linearity, the film-maker not only builds the action well, but he experiences a violence and a brutality which, if they touch peyes of exaggeration, give amusing and amusing moments, trying in part to remedy the monothematic writing of the bad guys.
Also in this case, unfortunately, the sequences are too legible and we often find ourselves guessing the outcome of some choices of the protagonist and her opponents, but it is also true that, as we said before, the problem arises when the production intentionally wanted to follow an easy and well-trodden path to avoid any possible hazard given by experimentalism.
Interceptor, the film that marks writer Matthew Reilly's Netflix debut as a screenwriter and director, is a fun title that, unfortunately, is far too derivative both from a narrative and an aesthetic point of view. If writing manages to build an interesting and unconventional protagonist, the same cannot be said of the antagonists and of the story, which, although unexpected in some passages, falls within the already seen. The direction, devoid of flickers, however predictable, offers particularly brilliant sequences, which however do not save the rest. A feature film that entertains, but which is excessively linked to the canon, which severely limits it.