Dead Shot (2023)

Dead Shot (2023)

Seasoned fans of the genre won’t find anything they haven't already seen before in this political thriller set in 1970s London



United Kingdom
Action, Thriller
Aml Ameen, Colin Morgan, Felicity Jones
87 min


Dead Shot is not a bad film per se, but given its top-tier cast and intriguing setting, it obviously could’ve done better.

What it's about

In the 1970s, Michael O’Hara (Colin Morgan), a former member of the Irish paramilitary, goes to London hoping to avenge his dead wife and their son.

The take

For an action thriller, Dead Shot is pretty boring. It doesn’t pick up until the latter half of the film, and even then, things never feel as impactful as they should be. The gears start to turn once Michael seeks revenge for the murder of his wife, but the film never builds enough story to move past this cliché. He has neither a rich backstory for us to fully feel for him, nor an impressive array of combat skills for us to be wowed, at least, by the mechanics of it all. The film is okay if you’re seeking easy thrills (Morgan finds a gripping scene partner in Aml Ameen, who plays the soldier Michael is after) but seasoned fans might want more out of a film that takes place during one of the country’s most politically charged eras. 

What stands out

The “must avenge killed wife” plot line is a tired one, but it feels particularly frustrating here given that Dead Shot takes place when and where it does. The IRA and British intelligence are involved, and so are characters from different classes and races, but the film ignores the friction between these opposing forces and focuses, instead, on a revenge scheme that is too thin and familiar to compel. The geopolitics of the film's setting is rich with potential, but it feigns ignorance in lieu of more action, which it doesn't even do well enough.


Spoiler Alert. Don’t read this until after you watch the movie. If this movie is about revenge for his pregnant wife being shot and killed, why the heck doesn’t he shot the guy who shot his wife when he has the chance at the end of the movie? I understood he said that he killed her at the end meaning his being with her was the cause of her death, but that wouldn’t be enough for him to decide to not shoot the guy that made the mistake and shot a pregnant woman who posed no threat. It basically means the guy gets away with it. In my opinion, that made this movie unlikeable. I prefer my movies where the bad guy gets his comeuppance and the shooter here doesn’t. Oooh, he does shed a tear at the end because he killed the innocent woman, but so what. It feels like when OJ got off after killing his ex wife yes I think he did it, why else was he in that white Bronco running from the law?)

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