Action movie

Interceptor Proves Elsa Pataky Should Be The Next Big Action Movie Star

The Netflix Movie Interceptor follows the familiar path of 80s single-player action films such as Die Hard, Passenger 57 and Under siege. What is not common in action films of the 80s is that it is the story of awomen– wrecking crew, featuring Elsa Pataki like the woman who keeps fighting.

Australian author Matthew Reilly makes his directorial debut with Interceptor, skillfully setting the stage to tell the story of a modern terrorist attack that he himself wrote. Reilly also co-wrote the screenplay, working with veteran writer Stuart Beattie, whose writing credits include the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, movie Collateraland more recently, four episodes of the hit Obi Wan Kenobi series.


Whereas Interceptor is unlikely to be nominated for any major writing or directing awards, it gives viewers the chance to see Elsa Pataky in the satisfying role of the unexpected hero who thwarts the elaborate evil plans of sophisticated terrorists. It also gives the action movie world a glimpse of its potential for even bigger things in the future.

Elsa Pataky brings a big presence to the big screen

For Elsa Pataky, her main role in Interceptor was a big step forward. Millions of viewers enjoyed watching his supporting roles in four of The fast and the furious movies and in the Netflix series Tides. But in Interceptor, he is asked to carry the film from beginning to end. It’s something that not all actors have the charisma or confidence to pull off. Pataky was up to the task, showing us why her studio believed in her and why audiences may believe she has the potential to be the next action movie star.

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The criteria for an action movie star begin with an undeniable physical presence. Whether it’s portraying the highest level of hand-to-hand combat or simply the ability to endure a beating and get back on its feet, the action film asks audiences not only to admire the physical talents of the star, but to accept the often enhanced action that the main character must somehow make work. Pataky is a natural at this, strong and agile and trained enough to make his small stature a credible asset rather than an embarrassing shortcoming. Interceptor takes her through the physical gamut, from brawls with murderous giants to stabbings and gunfights, from fixing gunshot wounds with duct tape to martial arts and monkey bars. Through it all, Pataky is utterly compelling.

The small gestures and the great intensity of Elsa Pataky

Another attribute of the action movie star is the ability to respond coldly to the taunts, jokes, and setbacks that plague every action hero’s agonizing journey to prevail in the end. Whether it’s the “can’t you get enough” eye roll or the “I’m going to have to rip your heart out now” sneer, the way the hero reacts to action and interaction everything throughout the story can evoke real laughter, produce real cheers, and win the hearts of the audience. Pataky shows she has a subtle flair for the heroic response. Her calculating pause when a second cutting torch is introduced by the bad guys, or her convenient moment of blowing stray hair from her face as she waits for the next round of the fight to begin are perfectly timed and genuinely endearing.

Perhaps Pataky’s strongest action hero attribute is his raw intensity. An action hero must be able to activate the Intimidation Factor at will. On screen, it looks like Pataky’s natural state. When she speaks, her intelligence is evident, and there is no doubt that her words are important. When she asks questions, her questions seem deep. When she stares, it comes from a place of absolute conviction, as if she has every right to be both judge and jury in every situation. It’s a quality that has allowed actors like Clint Eastwood, Tom Cruise and Christian Bale to command the scenes they star in and Interceptor, Pataky shows she can walk into a room and own it.

If there’s one quality Pataky brings to the screen that’s rare even among the most seasoned action stars, it’s emotional sincerity. The stakes must be high in action films, and most actors playing reluctant heroes are invited to embark on a stimulating emotional journey. This route usually starts with establishing what is normal for the character – tough city cop, grieving parent or, as in the case of Interceptor, aggrieved military officer – then moves to surprise of threat or horror of atrocity, followed by hero’s courageous determination, followed by genuine vulnerability or loss that leads to righteous anger, and ending with a sense of triumph and relief.

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In a role traditionally dominated by male actors, anger has typically been the pinnacle of performance for action heroes, while vulnerability or grief has been a traditional weakness. In Interceptor, Pataky shows a real talent for the soft side. Its moments of pleading or heartbreak are heartfelt and give these tough parts of the action story a bigger impact than usual.

Big things are on the way for Elsa Pataky

Probably being a mother of three children with husband Chris Hemsworth limits the number of projects that Pataky and her husband can devote themselves to. However, after playing in Interceptor, she went on to play an important role in Russell Crowe’s next film Poker face, in addition to accepting a role in a modern screen version of Carmen. But fans of both Interceptor and the action genre yearns to see its special talents that suit action movies made on the big screen so well.

Interceptor was a big step forward for Elsa Pataky, but it still only looks like the tip of the iceberg for her potential as an action movie star. Strong scripts with rich ensemble casts in the hands of veteran action directors could propel Pataky into even bigger and better starring roles in cutting-edge action films and action franchises. Hopefully the opportunity for Elsa Pataky to live up to her action movie star potential comes soon.