Director: Julius Avery
Cast: Brenton Thwaites, Ewan McGregor, Alicia Vikander, Matt Nable, Damon Herriman, Jacek Koman
Running Time: 108 minutes
Synopsis: JR (Thwaites), finds himself in need of protection during his 6 month stint in prison. He finds it in the form of notorious bankrobber Brendan (McGregor). However, everything comes at a price, and this may be something JR is paying back for a long time.
SON OF A GUN is one of those rare films that embraces its clichés and runs with them. It’s not an entirely predictable affair, but you’ll certainly recognise the tropes that are embedded within this crime/heist flick with familiar ingredients, but unique presentation.
Starting as a prison drama, Thwaites gives us the typical fish out of water. Serving a measly 6 months, he soon finds himself attracting the attention of the local prison rapists. Thankfully, he’s made friendships with the prison’s most dangerous and respected man, Brendan. In the role of Brendan, McGregor makes an astoundingly effective hardman. He may not have undergone a staggering transformation, but he relishes every line of dialogue and carries himself with a striking air of confidence.
Thwaites on the other hand, grows into his role. Starting off as a nervous little flower, and growing into a man with anger issues, before finally transforming into a tactile criminal. You’ll be used to such a progression, just as you’ll recognise the gangster possessive over a girl he can’t have, or the trigger happ nephew who messes everything up, or even the hardman doing it all for his daughter. These reall don’t let the film down though. First of all we also have the excellent Australian setting which adds a lot of character in terms of location and beautiful imagery, while other original flourishes can be found.
The structure sees SON OF A GUN begin with hard and fast action in the form of an exciting jailbreak, sees a midwa heist also keep things interesting, before boiling everything down to the struggle between the charcters. Leaving us with more personal faceoffs. It’s a risky manuvre which absolutel pays off. By the time we reach the climax, we’re invested in the characters, rather than merely craving another big set piece.
SON OF A GUN is an impeccably paced heist thriller with the balls to offer great characters along with intense and gritty action. Avery commands all aspects with great energy, making for a more than promising feature length debut. Whether it’s the blistering prison break, or the spectacular heist at a goldmine, you’ll be remembering such sequences for weeks, while also enjoying the complex relationships of father figures and criminals. Great stuff.
[usr=4] SON OF A GUN is released on January 30th.