‘Those Who Wish Me Dead’ unfolds like a homage to the 1990s small-budgeted smart action films set in rural America. It’s a breath of fresh air in an era when hundred million dollars plus blockbusters dominate the genre. The film revolves around Connor (Finn Little), a precocious teenager who is on the run in the Montana wilderness from two professional assassins that killed his father. He is found by Hannah (Angelina Jolie), a smokejumper haunted by past failures. Learning about his situation, Hannah desperately tries to keep the boy safe from the killers on one end and a raging wildfire on the other. Here is everything you need to know about ‘Those Who Wish Me Dead.’ SPOILERS AHEAD.
Those Who Wish Me Dead Plot Synopsis
Some years back, Hannah, who works as a firefighter in the forest department, witnessed one of the worst wildfire cases. The wind didn’t blow as it was supposed to, and Hannah and her colleagues had to escape the fire and not fight it. She spotted three young boys amidst the flames but was helpless to do anything for them. Presently, the incessant guilt still wrecks her psychologically. She drinks excessively, self-harms, and takes unnecessary risks as if she is taunting death.
Ex-boyfriend and local police officer Ethan (Jon Bernthal) is at his wit’s end with her but knows that she has built up a nearly impenetrable wall around herself. Ethan has a remarkable relationship with his pregnant wife, Allison (Medina Senghore). In most films like this, Allison would be a disposable character, who would eventually be killed to further the plot and to give the protagonist a happy ending. That doesn’t happen in ‘Those Who Wish Me Dead.’
Allison has agency, an assertive presence that makes her one of the main characters of the film. A survival instructor, she is not a damsel in distress either. Despite being six months pregnant, she rides a horse with a hunting rifle in hand to save her husband. Far away from Hannah, Ethan, and Allison, in Jacksonville, Florida, “forensic accountant” Owen (Jake Weber) learns his boss, the district attorney, has been killed along with his family in a gas line explosion.
Correctly suspecting foul play, Owen leaves the city with his son Connor, hoping to hide with Ethan, who is his late wife’s brother, and Allison until Owen can speak to the reporters. However, they are intercepted on their way by the two assassins, Jack (Aidan Gillen) and Patrick (Nicholas Hoult). They kill Owen, but Connor manages to escape and later runs into Hannah.
Realizing the young boy is still out there and likely has some incriminating evidence against their clients, Jack sets fire to the forest to divert the attention of the local authorities. He and Patrick then capture Ethan and force him to track his nephew. Meanwhile, Connor tells Hannah what has happened and gives her the notes that his father told him to give to someone whom he can trust. Still carrying the weight of her guilt, Hannah seeks redemption by ensuring the boy’s safety.
Those Who Wish Me Dead Ending: Who Has Hired Jack and Patrick?
The film maintains an amount of ambiguity about Jack and Patrick’s employer(s). Evidently, the two assassins are professional and extremely good at their job. Tyler Perry’s character, Arthur, likely runs the entire operation. What sets the two killers apart from most movie villains is that the writers don’t have them making foolish choices. They are intelligent and tactical and respond to any situation with terrifying readiness.
The film offers a brief exposition about the people who are pulling strings from the shadows. As they make their way to Montana from Florida, Owen tells Connor about his job. As a forensic accountant working under the DA, his main job is to find discrepancies in people’s finances and figure out if bribery, corruption, fraud, money laundering, or embezzlement is involved. According to him, the case he had been handling before the demise of his boss implicates some of the most powerful people in America, including governors and members of Congress.
These people have a lot to lose if their indiscretions ever become public. So, predictably, once they learn about the investigation, they send highly competent assassins to kill those conducting it. Owen knows the police will not be of much help, so he reaches out to his brother-in-law, a man he knows that he can trust without question. He also wants to talk to the media and reveal everything he knows.
However, as he and Connor make their journey, he increasingly realizes that he will likely not survive this. So, he gives those notes to his son. And before his death, he draws the attention of his killers, so his son can escape. After Jack and Patrick have been killed and the wildfire has died down, Hannah waits with Connor as the US Marshals and a news crew arrive. The next few months will likely be tumultuous for them as America gets rocked by Owen’s findings.
Is Ethan Dead?
Yes, Ethan is dead. He gets hit several times when Jack and Patrick shoot at the watchtower. Although he is wearing a vest, it is not enough. After killing Jack, Allison finds Ethan. He urges her to leave and save herself and their unborn daughter, but they soon discover that they can’t escape the wildfire. So, they put on gas masks and hold each other as flames consume everything around them. The following morning, the smokejumpers find them. Allison is still alive. When one of the jumpers asks for a medevac to take Ethan to a hospital, Allison tells them that there is no rush, implying that Ethan passed away at some point during the night.
What Does the Future Hold for Connor?
Before the film begins, Connor lost his mother to cancer. Now, his father and uncle are dead. So, he asks Hannah what will happen to him. She admits that she doesn’t know but promises him that she will be there to help him. His only known relative is Allison. After everything settles down, he might start living with her. That way, Hannah will continue to be a part of his life. As he becomes an adult, he can employ all the survival and camping tricks he has learned from Hannah. His life seems to have been riddled with tragedy after tragedy. The small town hidden under the Montana wilderness might help him find some happiness.
Read More: Where Was Those Who Wish Me Dead Filmed?