Subscribers often get onto streaming platforms for tent-pole shows, and then end up trying to consume the service they have paid for. A quick glance at the coming soon tab will show you that Netflix constantly has stuff in the pipeline. This provides viewers with fresh content that can prove divisive. While some may question the execution and creative direction of these offerings, the prospect of a new movie may excite others. Interceptor is such a film as it doesn’t shine. However, this action-heavy popcorn thriller has enough to satisfy action film junkies who can ignore a very obvious homage.
What is Interceptor about?
The film gets right to it. In the first minute itself, we see words on the screen informing us about these real-life structures and their purpose. Interceptors are the missiles deployed to nullify nuclear threats to a nation. These missiles are housed on offshore defense installations, one of which serves as the location for Matthew Reilly’s directorial debut.
An army base is taken over by Trojan horses who face stern opposition in the form of JJ Collins (Elsa Pataky). She represents the only line of defense between the terrorists and peace.
What’s good about Interceptor on Netflix?
This 96-minute Netflix film gets right to it. Director Matthew Reilly wastes no time and we see Collins instructed to reach the command room within the first five minutes; The attempted takeover happens within the first ten. This lack of build-up proved to be a boon, as any backstory here seemed too forced.
Even though it is forced, audiences will get an understanding of Collins’ motivations from the ‘show don’t tell’ technique. These provide a take on why she will push the limits for her country. As this technique served its purpose, one wonders why Reilly and Stuart Beattie’s screenplay included the scenes from Collins’ past.
The film’s action scenes can keep you entertained as they aren’t too long, too short, or too farfetched to fathom. Clearly, Reilly did a good job of remembering that the soldiers and the mercenary hires are humans with limitations in combat.
Interceptor focuses on inclusivity and diversity in the world. The Army protagonists are ones who get targeted due to certain factors, but persevere to overcome discrimination.
Another good thing about Netflix’s Interceptor is the cameo by the executive producer. It is timed well and the protagonist’s real-life husband seems to be supporting her from afar.
What’s not good about Interceptor?
Interceptor on Netflix is set in the present day with the narrative showing that through flashbacks. While this is a good thing, the adaptation of the Cold War feud is just so overdone.
The editing was shoddy in some places. One particular instance that stood out was when Collins was fighting the opposing female agent. The camera showed Collins take a hit and fall back onto the controls. Then, the audience could see her opponent turn toward the screens in the control room. However, after two-three seconds, following a cut, Pataky hit the controls as though she fell in slow motion.
Multiple flashbacks in Interceptor just seem out of place; the fight for the country would have been reason enough for a soldier to overcome adversity. The internal battle and backstory of the punishment posting were clearly just used for the sake of it. Interceptor would not have changed from start to end had these scenes not made it out of the editing room.
Action buffs may find the lack of a steady camera a tad jarring, and this could see them fight the urge to find something else on Netflix. Sticklers for detail may even wonder how a substance reduced a gun to vapor, but didn’t harm human skin as much. It may appear as though Reilly didn’t really think through this homage to the 80s.
That alone could have proved enough. However, Collins’ choice of wardrobe may see fans compare her to a cop who had a heroic Christmas Eve at Nakatomi Tower. Unlike McClane and Gruber, Collins and Alexander Kessel are unmemorable characters who don’t make the audience believe they are indispensable in the role.
Should you watch Interceptor on Netflix?
In retrospect, the audience should have taken the film’s first frame featuring the words “Warning restricted area,” seriously. Set in the present day, the throwback to the Cold War and haphazardly inserted flashbacks may not propel this Netflix Original to anyone’s recommendation list. However, action junkies may get their fill courtesy of numerous fight scenes throughout the movie. They may like it, as modern films usually have an elongated build-up to the final fight that doesn’t have a good payoff.
Watch Interceptor if you want to get a taste of action movies from a bygone era, but go in with low expectations. If you are someone who would like to be surprised, stay far away from Interceptor on Netflix.