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Interceptor is a harmless 90's throwback actioner

Matthew Reilly teams up with Hollywood superstar Chris Hemsworth (who serves as executive producer) for the latest action romp from Netflix, Interceptor. The arduous and reality-bruised Captain JJ Collins (Elsa Pataky) finds herself in charge of a lone nuclear missile interceptor base in the middle of the Pacific Ocean after she wrongfully loses out of her dream job at the Pentagon.

When a simultaneous coordinated attack threatens the base itself, Collins comes face-to-face with the charismatic yet crooked Alexander Kessel (Luke Bracey), a former US military intelligence officer intent on carrying out an unthinkable plan. With only minutes on the clock, Collins must utilize her years of tactical training and military expertise to determine whom she can trust and stop Kessel and his covert mercenaries from completing their twisted and terrible mission.

Stuart Beattie, who penned two of the best thrillers of the early 2000s (Collateral and Derailed), serves as the film's co-writer with director Matthew Reilly. From the onset and a view of the film's trailer, most viewers will recognize the script falls into the "Die Hard" on {a random location} trope. It's a simple formula Bad guys have taken over some location or vehicle, usually holding several hostages and almost always in an enclosed space, but, unbeknownst to the villains, one or more good guys are hiding out in their midst.

It's up to the said hero to engineer their overthrow. At least one Air-Vent Passageway will probably be crawled through, at least one hostage will be a member of The Hero's family, and another will be executed while trying to negotiate with the villains.

This trope was a staple of the nineties and worked successfully in films such as Under Siege, Passenger 57, and Speed. Thankfully producer Chris Hemsworth and the rest of the crew seem to appreciate the film genre and cater the script and action to fit star Elsa Pataky.

The actress is no stranger to the action genre, having flexed her action muscle in two films in the Fast & Furious franchise before sadly becoming a damsel in distress in her last appearance in the series due to the nature of the story.

One of the first things I noticed about her character is that she doesn't spend the film cracking jokes or having tons of plot armor. Collins takes her shares of her hits from the villains and the good ole boys club of the military. Kudos to the scriptwriters for the plot angle they used to get Collins on the ship.

Regarding our primary villain, Luke Bracey does a good job in the role and provides just enough malice to keep in tune with the B-Movie vibes that this film requires. The rest of the supporting cast is on autopilot, but there is a hilarious cameo from Chris Hemsworth.

Interceptor never reaches the levels of the nineties classic it takes inspiration from. However, if the goal was for Hemsworth to showcase his wife's talent as an action heroine, he achieved his goal. While I doubt I ever revisit the film as one time watch, Interceptor is a harmless ninety-minute time waster.

Final Grade: C+

Interceptor is available to stream on Netflix tomorrow


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