Those Who Wish Me Dead (R)
Late in this adaptation of Michael Koryta's novel of the same name, young Connor Casserly (Finn Little) calls smokejumper Hannah Faber (Angelina Jolie) "thin," to which she snaps back and corrects him that she is, rather, "lean." The same can be said of the film as a whole. Director Taylor Sheridan and co-scripters Koryta and Charles Leavitt's premise is pretty thin: in the Montana forest, Hannah and Connor must evade the mob hitmen (Aidan Gillen and Nicholas Hoult) who killed Connor's father while a blazing fire also closes in; the same can also be for the pro forma characterization, with Hannah being a hotshot who is haunted by a traumatic on-the-job incident that occurred under her watch. But in genre programmers such as these, those are just the nuts and bolts that only need to be sturdy and functional enough to carry what really matters here--the style, the thrills, the suspense--and Sheridan keeps the pace swift and the dramatic stakes high. Helping immeasurably in the latter respect is the committed work by the entire ensemble, which also includes Jon Bernthal as Connor's uncle/the local sheriff and Medina Senghore as his very pregnant but also very resourceful wife.