“The Interceptor” review: Netflix torments subscribers again

Look no further than the tantalizing new movie Interceptor to understand why users are leaving Netflix in droves.

They realize that instead of buying a subscription to a streaming service that’s caught up in an ongoing World’s Worst Movie competition, they can buy the reliable joy of a cold beer or two five-foot dollars from Subway with $ten has transformed.

Movie review

Running time: 96 minutes. Not rated. On Netflix.

The latest contender for the title is Interceptor, a “JAG” episode from Hell that dares to be about both the impending annihilation of every American city by 16 stolen Russian nuclear missiles… and #MeToo. What a mix!

Fast & Furious franchise actress Elsa Pataky plays JJ Collins, an army captain who is sent to her former base — a ship off Alaska designed to intercept missiles en route to the United States — on the same day that some Rogues steal a bunch of deadly weapons.

We are told that it takes only 24 minutes for a nuclear bomb to destroy its target in the US. After that impressive time, “Interceptor” shattered my brain in just three.

The threat of disaster does not come from war-hungry Russians, but from treacherous traitors to the American army. One says, “I swore an oath to ancient America – not this one.” Uh, what?

Elsa Pataky plays JJ Collins, an unassuming army badass "interceptor."
Elsa Pataky plays JJ Collins, a nondescript army badass, in “Interceptor.”

#MeToo comes into play because a few years earlier, JJ was molested by a three-star general and when she tried to embarrass him, she became an outcast despite her superhero-like abilities. The movie seems to be saying that if the #MeToo movement is successful, Tampa will be saved from nuclear doom.

Assuming you didn’t click play hoping for a gripping storyline, fleshed-out characters, and a decent twist. Fine. But the action sequences will also disappoint you.

Pataky’s character engages in yawning hand-to-hand combat with the invaders (Luke Bracey’s performance as the main villain is snored four times), albeit not believable dialogue, as she attempts to protect the interceptors from Control. A man sizzling in sulfuric acid and a guy’s head being chopped off by a chain straddle the boring line between reasonable quality and cheesy wickedness.

The actors are often separated by walls and the effect is cheap and insignificant.
The actors are often separated by walls and the effect is cheap and insignificant.
Brook Rushton/Netflix

“Interceptor” also looks terrible.

For much of the film, JJ is locked away alone in a control room, and an emergency video feed broadcasts her toils around the world. That’s when we feel Netflix’s damn quality the most: “We are the Borg. Resistance is futile” mentality. Dumping one person in a room for a while saves money (this thing cost pennies and pocket lint), and the story’s natural isolation allowed the studio to continue producing duds during the pandemic. This is director Matthew Reilly’s first film. If I were him, I would consider removing it from my resume.

Just as our high New York taxes don’t fix enough potholes, lousy movies like this make us wonder exactly what our subscription dollars are going to. Was it for a new gym on Netflix? Please don’t tell me you screwed up The Power of the Dog.

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