What Exactly Is ‘Interceptor,’ Netflix’s Surprise New #1 Top Ten Movie?

Netflix continues to be an often perplexing labyrinth of content, but while we’re normally talking about the top ten list of shows that are a revolving door or hits and misses, I wanted to turn to the movie list for a moment where something exceedingly random is in the #1 spot.

That would be “Interceptor,” a Netflix-branded action movie starring almost no one you have ever heard of, most likely, but it’s gotten a big push from the service and is the top movie on the site right now in the US and almost every other country.

It’s hard to see this movie as anything else but the kind of “straight to DVD” fare that no longer exists in the same format these days, and yet now that kind of movie can…somehow be one of the most watched in the entire world with Netflix’s reach and topline placement.

The star you may have heard of, Elsa Pataky, with her most prominent role being Elena in a few of the Fast and Furious movies. But I don’t recognize a single other name in the cast, nor its writer/director, Matthew Reilly, given that this is the first movie he’s done.

The film’s description: “One Army captain must use her years of tactical training and military expertise when a simultaneous coordinated attack threatens the remote missile interceptor station she is in command of.”

Sounds like a Michael Bay feature minus the Michael Bay, and it’s…not reviewing well. Not at all.

Interceptor has:

But since this is Netflix, and people are just prone to watch whatever happens to be in the top spot if ten seconds of the trailer and the thumbnail look okay, here we are. But it seems that once people are actually getting through the film, they’re not coming away satisfied.

Again, I don’t know the ins and outs of how Netflix greenlights or acquires projects, but it’s always deeply strange to see something like this surface to the top with no star or director power and poor reviews. The magic of algorithmic placement, I suppose, but in this case, this is a feature that doesn’t seem to be worth anyone’s time. Netflix’s last original that hit the #1 spot I believe was Senior Year starring Rebel Wilson, another panned production with a 25% Rotten Tomatoes score.

It’s not like Netflix never has good movies. I liked The Adam Project with Ryan Reynolds, Extraction was one of the best action movies of the last few years, and they’ve produced Oscar fare like The Power of the Dog, but yes, certainly sometimes things can veer into very weird “what’s popular” territory like what we’re seeing with this Interceptor spike this week. And from the sound of it, it’s probably not worth your time.

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