Australian cinema is getting better and better. The Babadook was arguably one of the best horror flicks of the year gone past, and with films like The Rover, that linger for a while after you’ve seen it, I am excited to see what is in store in the future. Son of a Gun is the directional debut of director Julius Avery, and you have to hand it to him, it’s not a bad attempt for his first round.
What got me instantly was the score, at first I was convinced it was the same composer from The Rover, Anthony Partos, but when I looked it up, I was wrong, it was actually the same composer for The Babadook, I knew I had heard similar musical arrangements before! Jed Kurzel is responsible for the eerie and foreboding strings in Son of a Gun, and the choice of soundtrack isn’t bad either. I honestly think that if it wasn’t for the score, this film would not have had as much appeal as it did.
In terms of believability, this films stay believable for a good 20mins, which isn’t bad for this type of genre, crime, action, drama. By that point you’re kind of hooked, so you keep watching, and the film kind of falters for a little while, but manages to regain it’s composure for the final act. The ending is somehow touching, and leaves you with a sense of hope.
Brenton Thwaites (JR) has been in quite a few films lately, and I am sure we will be seeing him in more large ticket films. His performance is composed and his character constantly seems like a mystery, but in an interesting interchange with Brendan Lynch (Ewan McGregor), he says that he’s a “bonobo”, after Brendan has stated that there are two types of people, “fighters of lovers”, “chimps or bonobos”. I think this is oversimplifying the diversity of humanity, but it’s valid for the purposes of this 108 minute heist film. The character interactions between Ewan and Brenton hold this film together and some how manages to give it meaning.
Alicia Vikander is another actress that we have been seeing plenty of, but her acting here was not entirely convincing for me, and I really believe that it was because of the way her character was written. Her character is pivotal to the film, so I think that the director/writer could have taken the time to flesh out her character and add depth to her, therefore being able to make the connection between her and JR deeper.
Overall this film provides some entertaining sequences and makes this overly exhausted genre seem fresh. I am not saying that this film is a classic, but that I think it had the potential to be, and that it will be very interesting to see what Julius Avery presents to us next! Enjoy FilmMunchers.
TRIVIA COOKIE: Brenden Abbott known as “The Post Card Bandit” and his apprentice Brenden Berichon provided some of the inspiration for this film.