Captain Stanley (Ray Winstone) is a British man living in the middle of the hot, harsh outback with his wife, Martha (Emily Watson). He has captured two notorious outlaws, the ‘simple’ Mike Burns (Richard Wilson) and his brother, Charlie (Guy Pearce). Stanley makes a deal with Charlie for him to find his even more wicked brother, Arther (Danny Huston) and bring him in, or else he and Mike will hang for the rape and murder of the Hopkins family. Charlie accepts the deal, leaving Mike in jail, but it is not a smooth process on either end, and has many tragic consequences.
It is a very hard film; beautiful but harsh scenery, an amazing and torturous soundtrack by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, and strong, painful performances, most notably from Ray Winstone. There is no hope for anyone. This country will destroy them, whether it the indigenous culture destroyed and seeking some kind of vengeance, the legacy of white settlement made up of criminals or
the harshness of the land itself, there is no hope. I wouldn’t recommend this film if you are feeling a bit down. It’s tough, but wonderful.
Utah (Luke Bracey) is an extreme sportsman whose friend dies and so, naturally, he becomes and FBI Agent. But, just as he is graduating, there is a mysterious case that requires an extreme sportsman and he fits the bill – what a coincidence! And so, with his boss, Instructor Hall (Delroy Lindo) and his FBI kind-of partner, Pappas (Ray Winstone) he goes out to get Bodhi (Edgar Ramirez) and bring him and his group to justice.
It’s a terrible film, really. The plot is rubbish, with a bunch of men giving each other intense looks and earnest high fives, and a girl who is hanging around apparently only to sleep with Utah at some point. I’m not sure why they had to remake the original which I recall being very good anyhow… But, go see it. Because it is so stunning; the waves, the snow, the mountains, all of it is just stunning and beautiful and no doubt there is a tonne of CGI, but I don’t care. It was magnificent to watch, and I could handle all of the crappy acting and plot just to watch the scenery.
Craven (Mel Gibson), a homicide detective has his daughter shot dead on his doorstep and the general theory is that someone was gunning for him. But in his own investigation, he learns that she was involved in a big conspiracy involving nuclear stuff and whatever and *yawn*. Sorry, I’m sure a lot of work went into the scripting, but I had so little engagement in the film that I couldn’t be bothered attempting to follow where all of the characters fit in. Ray Winstone was apparently an important figure, yet I didn’t know who he was working for or what he was trying to achieve.
Initially, I thought this was going to be a good film, and we might even get to see Mel Gibson doing some good acting again (he used to do that, right? Pre-all his drunken rants and nastiness). Now, I know that Bostonians have a specific and unusual accent, but Mel’s accent was inconsistent and, at times, downright amusing. I think I need to challenge myself to watch more good films.