Interceptor by Matthew Reilly [7/10]

Matthew Reilly, the Australian thriller writer who reinvented thrillers by taking out the boring bits…I stopped reading his books after chapters ended with killer sharks crashing through walls but I have always admired his resolve, his scenic composition chops, and his never-ending instinct to escalate a plot. Well, his first film as director (and co-writer), “Interceptor,” exactly met my expectations. The plot is suitably comic book: a female officer aboard an offshore platform that intercepts Russian nuclear ballistic missiles has to battle seemingly unstoppable traitorous forces helmed by a redoubtable villain, against the clock, the penalty being 300 millions American deaths. Elsa Pataky plays the hero in a bravado performance that is equally wooden and spot on; Luke Bracey matches her capabilities as the terrorist. Action scenes are the crux and they are choreographed like classical ballet.

My tone no doubt conveys disparagement but I found the entire film refreshingly basic, elemental, and satisfying in the sense (a very male one, no doubt) of providing an hour and a half of battle hijinks that pleasurably reminded me of my thrill of discovering the Alastair Maclean thrillers as a youth. Expect no more and you too will lap up Interceptor like delectable popcorn.

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