Bullet Points: Son of a Gun
A couple of weeks ago I was in an all-out Australian film frenzy mode. You may remember reading my review of the awesome Aussie zombie film Wyrmwood but this movie from Down Under is quite different but equally enjoyable. Son of a Gun stars a young fella by the name of Brenton Thwaites who will probably be a big star in the next couple of years. Ewan McGregor also checks in with a great performance. If you can film this flick, do so….and you can thank me later.
The Gist: Locked up for a minor crime, 19 year old JR quickly learns the harsh realities of prison life. Protection, if you can get it, is paramount. JR soon finds himself under the watchful eye of Australia’s most notorious criminal, Brendan Lynch. But protection comes at a price. Lynch and his crew have plans for their young protégée. Upon release, JR must help secure Lynch’s freedom, staging a daring prison break. As a reward, he’s invited to join the crew as they plan a gold heist that promises to deliver millions. However, as things start to go wrong, a deadly game of cat and mouse ensues. JR finds himself unsure of whom he can trust and on a collision course with his former mentor.
The Cast: Brenton Thwaites and Ewan McGregor star as JR and Brendan Lynch respectively in what I found to be an exciting, and truly surprising film at times. Thwaites has such an innocent looking baby face he was perfect for the role of the young, misguided man who was in need of a father figure and just so happened to find it in one of the country’s most charming and deadly criminals. McGregor is exciting in the role because it isn’t something that he has done for some time but when it comes down to it I wasn’t about to throw him a bunch of Academy Awards or anything. I thought that both he and Thwaites did fine jobs but I found that the mood, coupled with an excellent soundtrack really made the movie for me. The pace of the film helped all of their performances too as nothing that they do ever seems too unrealistic like most movies.
Thwaites character is kind of a sissy but he doesn’t pretend to be tough so it doesn’t get annoying.
The Villain: We’re talking about a movie filled with criminals who first meet in a prison and then go on to commit a couple of heists so there aren’t many “nice” people here. McGregor as Brendan Lynch has surrounded himself with a lot of bad guys and as we move through the story we meet and see several of them die. Brendan’s partner Sam, who brings the gold heist to Lynch’s attention in the first place plays the role of the 2nd half villain as we’re led more in more towards rooting for JR and Brendan.
A movie about a bunch of criminals isn’t going to lack villainous characters.
The Action: This isn’t a movie that I would normally consider an action film and it has substantially less action than most of the movies that we review here but as I said before I really dug the pacing of the film and it never felt like it slowed down so when the action finally did happen it worked well. The movie felt very much in the same vein as The Departed. It’s action pieces weren’t filled with exploding cars and dudes heads getting blown off but when you care about the characters on screen, you don’t need them to be diving away from exploding buildings every 15 seconds to know that they’re in some serious shit.
Who doesn’t love a good heist movie?
Take it Home:
- Favorite Quotes: “If you’re gonna be hung for stealing a sheep you might as well fuck as well. BAAAA.”
- Director: First full-length film for director Julius Avery.
- Gun Man: I wanted to see more from the guy who had all the guns. He seemed like a real interesting individual.
- Plan B: It seemed like they were always using Plan B. That isn’t to say that their plans were so intricate that they never went to plan but quite the contrary, they were unbelievably simple and still managed to get screwed up. Luckily Plan B was most often shooting their way out of situations.