The story goes that Reilly purposefully wanted his first project to include a moderate budget with few cast members and one set. And so we know it won’t be long before something chaotic when he drops JJ Collins (Elsa Pataky) on a ship in the middle of the Atlantic, a vessel that houses interceptor missiles, the international safety net designed to take care of business if a nuclear weapon happens to be launched. This is a homecoming of sorts for Collins, who was forced out of service by trolls who came after her when she blew the whistle on the superior who sexually assaulted her. She’s a no-nonsense soldier, someone who we want on our side when the shit hits the fan.
Of course, on the day she gets there, the fan gets blasted when terrorists steal 16 nuclear weapons from a facility in Russia and aim them at major cities in the United States. As she’s discussing how this could have happened with a superior, she discovers that the bad guys have also considered the role of the interceptor and happen to be on the ship already. Led by an obnoxious alpha male named Kessel (Luke Bracey), the terrorists seem to have little more than complete annihilation of the human race on their mind. Can JJ keep them from the control room that would allow them to disable the interceptors and wipe out the entire United States?
Of course, she can. A movie like “Interceptor” isn’t set up as one with a lot of twists and turns, so it becomes an exercise in execution. Most of that falls on the shoulders of Pataky and Bracey, who bicker between the bullets and fight scenes that erupt every time Kessel tries to breach the control room. Pataky can be a bit too stoic, especially in the opening scenes, but she’s game for the action of the second half of the film and believable as the hero. Bracey leans into the shallow smarm of his character, even if he too could have been a tad more charismatic. Both performers seem a bit under-directed when there’s a version of “Interceptor” that leans even harder into its B-movie ’80s roots, dropping one-liners and quality kills. As goofy and full of plot holes as it is, the film almost takes itself too seriously (although a cameo from Pataky’s husband and executive producer Chris Hemsworth is kinda fun.)