After hitting theaters and HBO Max back in May, the latest Taylor Sheridan thriller is coming home, when “Those Who Wish Me Dead” releases on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital on August 3.
In signature Taylor Sheridan style, the hybrid western-thriller thrusts viewers directly into a tense, gritty world with no time to waste. There’s little need for exposition here — the line between good and bad is clearly defined, the stakes are set, and the action gets rolling.
We’re first introduced to two hitmen, Patrick (Nicholas Hoult) and Jack (Aiden Gillen), as they try to track down a father and his son. We don’t know the specifics of who they are, what they’re after or why, beyond the fact that the father, Owen (Jake Weber) is a whistleblower aware of the men’s wrongdoings. Sheridan never bothers to develop the world too much, instead allowing the simple black and white stakes to pave the way for plenty of tense action.
Eventually we meet Hannah, the film’s heroine, who must begrudgingly escort the son, Connor (Finn Little), to safety, throwing shades of a number of films, like “Logan” and even Sheridan’s own “Sicario: Day of the Soldado.” Jon Bernthal’s Ethan also arrives as a companion to Hannah and Connor.
After a bit of a jerky start, things quickly come together in this action-packed thriller. The shootouts are far more compelling than the attempts to emotionally invest in Hannah (Jolie) and Connor’s (Little) relationship, as their companionship does little to deviate from the norms of the “adult escorting endangered child” subgenre. Jolie and Little are not bad by any means, it’s just your standard procedure. Bernthal and Medina Senghore deliver an excellent subplot, while Gillen and Hoult are believably ruthless hitmen. Overall, it’s a compelling and gritty blend of stories, from survival, to coming of age, to redemption.
While the film is certainly worth a watch, it’s hard to justify pulling the trigger on this home release unless you’ve already seen the film and were a fan. A significant lack of special features coupled with the fact it’s just a Blu-ray release rather than 4K Ultra HD make this a better option to rent than to own.
Special Features on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital
- Making “Those Who Wish Me Dead” – This generic 14-minute featurette is packed full of cast and crew interviews, including Jolie, Sheridan, book author Michael Koryta and more, as they discuss how the film went from page to screen and the process of filming on location.
- “Those Who Wish Me Dead” First Look – This three-minute clip released on social media prior to the theatrical release previewing the film.
Zach Goins is a member of the North Carolina Film Critics Association based in Raleigh, N.C. Zach co-founded Inside The Film Room in 2018 and serves as Editor-in-Chief of the website and co-host of the podcast. Zach also serves as a film critic for CLTure.org.