Interceptor: Netflix’s Elsa Pataky blockbuster slammed by critics


Chris Hemsworth’s wife Elsa Pataky’s big new Netflix blockbuster Interceptor has been labelled a disaster by critics.

Australian author turned movie director Matthew Reilly fulfilled a boyhood dream this week, with his action-packed Hollywood debut Interceptor officially released into the world.

However, the turbocharged guns-and-rockets flick has been promptly shredded by critics, with many laughing off its messy plot and over-reliance on CGI for budget frugality, quickly turning what should have been a milestone week into the stuff of nightmares for the writer.

Starring Spanish actress Elsa Pataky (including a cameo from husband Chris Hemsworth) and Aussie hunk Luke Bracey, the movie follows the feats of soldier JJ Collins (Pataky) as she attempts to divert a series of nuclear missiles launched at Tampa and commandeered by rogue American terrorists.

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Reilly – who developed a cult-like following off the back of his breakneck action novels including Ice Station, Scarecrow and Seven Ancient Wonders – had been teasing fans about a potential foray into screenwriting for nearly a decade, and announced the film to significant fanfare.

However, cinema buffs are far from convinced it was the right move for the author.

The New York Times led the critical lynching, likening the film to The Onion’s parody interview with a hyperactive 5-year-old screenwriter.

“The fun is not always contagious,” the review reads.

“The standoff of Interceptor feels prolonged. You might not mind an apocalypse if it meant a change of scenery.”

The New York Post was far harsher in their assessment of the film, labelling it as the reason “why users are abandoning Netflix in droves”.

“Ten dollars … can buy (subscribers) the reliable joy of a cold beer, or two $5 foot-longs from Subway, instead of a subscription to a streaming service that’s turned into an ongoing competition to make the world’s worst movie,” they wrote, labelling the set as “horrendous”.

“Tossing one person in a room for a while saves money (this thing cost a few pennies and pocket lint) and the natural isolation of the story allowed the studio to keep churning out duds during the pandemic.

“This is director Matthew Reilly’s first film. If I were him, I’d consider leaving it off my CV.”

CBR added that the movie was “full of plot contrivances, unconvincing dialogue, and shaky performances”.

Interceptor is the kind of action movie in which characters mention the possibility of events occurring mere seconds before they actually do,” they write.

“The dialogue relies heavily on either clumsy, unnecessary exposition or cheesy one-liners.

“Hundreds of millions of lives are supposedly at stake, but Interceptor doesn’t live up to such stakes.”

Despite the early criticism, the film currently holds a score of 70 per cent on the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes. 

With a budget of just $15 million (cheap as chips for an action extravaganza), Riley will no doubt be sweating on the film‘s first-weekend performance.

Interceptor is streaming now on Netflix, if you want to make up your own mind.

Originally published as Elsa Pataky’s Netflix blockbuster slammed by critics

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