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"Interceptor" 4K Review

 This week's disposable Netflix movie of the week was Interceptor, starring Elsa Pataky (Furry Fastness 5-8 and also Mrs. Chris Hemsworth) as an Army captain assigned to a floating missile defense platform in the Pacific Ocean. One of two sites which can shoot down ICBMs from Russia - the other located in Alaska - they are apparently the mainland's only defense against attacks because we don't have any continental defenses? OK, sure, let's go with that. 

Unfortunately, she has arrived on the same day that traitorous American soldiers have taken the Alaska base, killed their comrades, and destroyed the controls for the interceptor missiles and Russian radicals have stolen 16 nuclear missiles and aimed them at America. She realizes about five seconds too late that the Alaska attack was an inside job, but is able to barricade herself and two soldiers in the command room. As the bad guys, led by Luke Bracey (no idea who this is), begin cutting their way through the blast doors while SEAL teams race to get to the platfom via helicopter but will arrive too late unless she slows them further, the race is on to save America.

The premise is your standard "Die Hard on a..." template, so whether Interceptor rises or falls comes down to the details and execution and for the most part it whiffs across the board. The problems start immediately with multiple references to something that happened to Pataky in her past, eventually revealed as her being sexually harassed by a popular General when she got her dream assignment at the Pentagon and then having her career ruined for #MeTooing him, banished to this super important defense installation and not some garbage deployment in a place with uncomfortable living conditions.

The next big problem is the villain and his plan. He's supposedly a crazy sociopath who held important gigs (because the Army puts loose canon's in important places?) and his years of scheming and recruiting traitors and allies in Russia isn't to hold America ransom for whatever reasons, but to nuke the majority of the population for the "crime" of America no longer representing her founding ideals and after almost everyone is dead, rebuilding from the ruins a better America. Yep, that seems workable. (It's also notable that while Cincinnati and St. Louis are marked for destruction, Detroit isn't. I guess contra to X's "New World" and Martha and the Vandellas' "Dancing In The Street" you can forget the Motor City.)

The weaksauce virtue signaling continues with one of the command room soldiers being queried by Bracey if he was tired of being profiled as a terrorist for being Hindu. What? Was this script left over from 20 years ago when post-9/11 some Hindus were given grief by dumbasses who couldn't tell the difference between them and Muslims? No one has bothered the Hindus in forever, but according to the script written by two Australian guys who have written better things in the past - novelist-turned-writer/director Matthew Reilly and Stuart Beattie (Collateral) - America is still super bigoted. (The fact that pretty much the entire cast except Spaniard Pataky is Australian may be a factor in this weird concept of Americans.)  Of course, this soldier (Mayen Mehta) gets a moment to prove how super-patriotic he is, you bigots!

So the whole plot is kinda naff and the 1h 39m runtime is padded with endless monolouging, how's the rest of it. Enh, it's semi-adequate. Pataky seems a plausible action chick, relying on techique to overcome the brute strength of larger men she's fighting, and when she gets shot in the arm, they don't pretend she still can use it. Her bigger problem is her performance is wooden and mistakes monotone for strength. The rest of the cast nails their American accents which makes her Spanish accent even odder even with the explanation for it.

Shot on a low budget with only a few sets and a ton of imperceptible CGI enhancement, Interceptor could've been a respectable popcorn thriller, but it's too padded and too predictable to quite reach its modest goals. As far as the Dolby Vision and Atmos presentations, except for some bright lights and heavy bass on the soundtrack, they don't add much to the presentation. 

Score: 4/10. Catch it on Netflix if you're bored.

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