95 minutes| Australia| 2010| Colour| D-Cinema


This knowing modern thriller adapts the Australian landscape to the celluloid contours of the classic Western, as a new deputy (sorry, make that police constable) moves to an outback community and straight into a whirlwind of violence. Having forsaken the gentle climes of TV’s Home and Away for cult U.S. series True Blood, versatile Ryan Kwanten does sterling service as the nice-guy cop representing the new generation of Aussie law enforcement, in direct contrast to gnarly sheriff Steve Bisley, clearly a relic of the bad old days. That the central crisis revolves around an escaped prisoner of Aboriginal extraction, headed their way on a revenge mission, gives some indication of writer-producer-director-editor Patrick Hughes’ ultimate agenda, but he cannily always keeps the wild west influence in view as well. The shadow of Once Upon a Time in the West and indeed Bad Day at Black Rock are well in evidence, proving that Hughes clearly realises it’s smart to borrow from the best. (Notes by Trevor Johnston).

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