Interceptor

Review of Netflix thriller, ‘Interceptor’ with a female action lead

July 30, 2022 Mario Bautista 181 views

INTERCEPTOR’ is an action-thriller now streaming on Netflix. The formulaic story has been done before by male action stars but this time, the protagonist is a woman, Elsa Pataky, a Spanish model-actress who just happens to be the wife of Chris Helmsworth who co-produced the film and even does a cameo appearance.

Elsa was first noticed in “Fast and Furious 5” then she also appeared in Fast 6, 7 and 8. She’s now appearing as Wolf Woman in “Thor: Love and Thunder”. In “Interceptor”, she is projected as a female action hero and she does her job well.

She plays US Army Captain JJ Collins, who is ostracized and bullied by her military colleagues after she denounced a general for sexually harrasing her. As punishment, she is ejected from her dream job in the Pentagon and gets deployed in a remote and secret military interceptor base in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, which is meant to defend America in case any nuclear missiles come from enemies abroad.

Another base in Alaska has been attacked by terrorists and 16 nuclear warheads have been seized from Russia. JJ’s station is in turn attacked by a white supremacist group led by Alexander Kessel (Luke Bracey), a former U.S. military intelligence officer who quickly kills their commander, Lt. Col. Marshall (Rhys Muldoon).

JJ and her companions, Baker (Aaron Glenane) and Shah (Mayen Mehta), safely get holed up inside the secure command center. The bad guys try to negotiate entry into the center, so they can disarm its interceptor system to open up the States and thus be attacked by the stolen 16 Russian nuclear missiles.

It turns out Baker is a traitor and lets Kessel and his men get in to gain control of the command center. Baker kills Shah so JJ goes solo flight in defending the center from the evil intruders. This proves to be quite a task as the baddies are determined to punish and kill her, but she’s one determined young woman.

This kind of action movie is usually torn to shred by critics who consider it a trifle, but honestly, we think it’s a fairly decent actioner that accomplishes its intentions and gets the job done. And it works because the lead actress is very convincing in the role of the ass-kicking heroine.

From the start, Pataky has the vibe of a no-nonsense protagonist who even delivers her one-liners with amusing comic timing. She also delivers impressively in the slambang action sequences: fierce in the hand-to-hand combat, outwitting her foes, running, punching, jumping, swimming underwater and doing just about everything, like transferring from one monkey bar to another using only one hand after her other arm was injured.

She’s just amazing as she very obviously does it all herself, without any stunt double. Pataky really looks appealing like a real star should be and has the moves of a gutsy, credible action heroine. You’d really cheer for her.

The climax is truly quite exciting as she tries to intercept the 16 missiles all by her lonesome self. JJ utilizes her years of military training and expertise to thwart the deadly mission of the bad guys and save the U.S.A.
Luke Bracey is also persuasive as the sociopathic villain, the scion of a rich family who says he is outraged by his being born into privilege and makes a litany of what he perceives as America’s sins against the world. The movie is also well paced at only one hour and a half and we are given a consistent sense of when the clock will run out before the runaway Russian missiles hit its targeted 16 American cities.

Australian director and co-writer Matthew Riley manages to make the structure quite tight and the proceedings quite nerve-wracking. So sit back, relax, don’t ask too many questions and just go with the flow.

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