If you have been anywhere on Netflix recently, you would have come across Interceptor — a new summer flick that already looks badass just from its trailer.
Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of the movie, you can have a sneak peek of it.
So now, just what is all this rolling, punching and kicking for?
What’s the Film About
The film is centred around an interceptor base in the middle of the Pacific Ocean — one of two that are designed to prevent Russian nuclear missiles from landing on American soil.
From the beginning, we are already told that it takes just 24 minutes for a Russian missile to land in the US and there is only a short timeframe for a response. Yikes, considering recent events, that’s not too good.
Unfortunately, in the opening, a brutal massacre at the other station in Alaska is shown, which means “the only thing standing between America and armageddon” is newly-assigned army captain JJ Collins and her team.
Collins, played by Spanish model-turned-actor Elsa Pataky, is assigned to a last-minute post in the interceptor base and on her first day, shit already goes down.
The base is informed that terrorists have stolen 16 nuclear weapons from a facility in Russia and are aiming them at major cities in the United States.
As she’s discussing how this could have happened with a superior, she discovers that the bad guys have also considered the role of the interceptor and happen to be on the ship already.
Led by an obnoxious alpha male named Kessel, the terrorists seem to have little more than the complete annihilation of the human race on their minds. So it’s up to Collins to barricade herself in the main hub, guarding the controls and hopefully saving most of America.
Who is Elsa Pataky
Now, if the main star’s name doesn’t already ring a bell, we will do it for you.
Elsa Pataky is none other than the wife of hammer-wielding Chris Hemsworth. (BTW, he makes a cameo in this film as a stoner shop assistant in an electronic goods store.)
And if you are an avid watcher of the Fast and Furious franchise, you might have seen her pop up for a scene or two per film.
But all of that aside, this is the first time Pataky is taking on a leading role and we have to say, she does a decent job at it.
From Housewife to Badass Captain
Pataky might have starred in some movies over the years, but generally has focused on raising the couple’s three children while Hemsworth went to work with his hammer.
However, she always wanted to do action, she says. “I used to watch Indiana Jones movies with my dad and I wanted to be the female version. I was always a tomboy, very competitive with boys, trying to be stronger, do it better than them.”
At 45, she admits, “maybe it could have come earlier in my life, so recovering would be easier”, but she was excited to be able to challenge herself, to transform her body, and especially to do her own stunts.
For all the punching, kicking, rolling and dodging bullets, the most impressive feat by far is Pataky carrying out some ninja warrior moves by swinging one-handed along a set bars on the underside of the floating platform high above the sea. All of which was done by her.
Of course, it took some physical work. But lucky for Pataky, she has the legendary Asgard-ruler to help her out in that aspect.
Coincidentally, Hemsworth was shooting the latest Thor adventure at the same time as Pataky was making Interceptor.
They would occasionally see each other in the gym, then again at night when they got to spend some precious moments with the kids before crashing in mutual piles of exhaustion.
Pataky shared that it was a good experience for both of them, working hard at the same time.
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Not Your Typical Action Film
But even if Chris Hemsworth has a small part to play in the action, Interceptor is not about to be as grand as one of his Marvel movies.
In fact, it is the total opposite with the movie mirroring action films of the 80s — a time when action films were all quippy one-liners, earnest melodrama, artfully muddied up T-shirts and just about too many guns.
Critics have called it an old-fashioned action film that does not do too well in bringing out the 80s nostalgia, but that’s left up to the viewer’s opinion.
However, the movie does try to include some modern gender politics and social issues. Case in point: Pataky’s character is forced out of service by trolls who came after her when she blew the whistle on the superior who sexually assaulted her.
And just like JJ Collins, the movie is straightforward and the epitome of no-nonsense. So while some of the execution is a bit clunky, it can be argued that that was the intention.
Perhaps, another reason behind the movie’s throwback to the old days is its moderate budget.
Interceptor is directed by Matthew Reilly, who is a first-time director.
The best-selling Australian author has had at least eight stories promised to be followed up with a big-budget action movie. Unfortunately, they were never fulfilled, at least until Interceptor.
Apparently, Reilly purposefully wanted the project to have a small cast and budget, which is why the action blockbuster is only US$15 million ($21 million) though it looks like it cost a lot more than that.
But on top of that, he is both the writer and director of the movie.
Netflix was Hesitant
Reilly admitted that even though he has “sold nearly nine million books around the world”, getting the script to actresses was difficult. But eventually, it found Pataky and it was exactly what she was looking for.
Eventually, that brought Netflix into the picture as well. Unfortunately, they were not as eager as Pataky.
“Their hearts were in their mouths,” said Reilly honestly.
But he had been planning this his whole life. He started writing novels as teenager, as a more achievable substitute for making movies, and his writing often involves drawing scenes first, then describing those images in words on the page.
He had also read, watched and listened to so many directors’ explanations of the movie-making process that he felt ready. So began the process of creating the live-action of Interceptor.
A sequel is already in the works by Reilly, so stay tuned for that.
Meanwhile, you can catch Interceptor on Netflix.
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Featured Image: Netflix
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