|Index||3 reviews in total|
5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Some good performances, funny at times, kind of violent, 2 October 2008
Author: vchimpanzee from North Carolina
At the movie's start, the villain Lester McInally is about to leave a
man in the Australian desert to die a horrible death. The man with him
pleads for McInally to show mercy, which McInally does, in his own way.
How kind of him.
San Francisco businessman Brutus Cathcart wants the opal known as "The Blue Lightning" no matter what it costs. He calls on private detective Harry Wingate, who hates to leave the boat where he lives without a good reason. Wingate knows how much Cathcart wants that opal and, pretending not to be interested, keeps driving up the price Cathcart will have to pay him. Eventually, Wingate makes the trip to Australia because, if he lives through the experience (sometimes you doubt he will), he can make close to $100,000.
In Australia, Wingate gets plenty of help from the pretty Kate McQueen. McInally won't just hand over the opal, and his goons chase Wingate and Kate all over Australia. Fortunately, Wingate is smarter than they are.
Wingate meets Aborigine rancher Jahrgadu, who teaches Wingate a lot about his people. Wingate can relate, since he is one-eighth Oglala Sioux, and Jahrgadu declares Wingate to be an honorary Aborigine. There may have been a specific name for the tribe, but I don't remember it.
The scenes showing Aborigine culture may be the best reason to watch the movie. Jack Davis does a very good job in the role of Jahrgadu. Judging from Davis' name, and the fact he is light-skinned, I'm guessing the character was only part Aborigine. There is not a lot of detail, but most people outside Australia, and perhaps even some in Australia, would not have this much exposure to the ways of these people. There is even a funeral conducted partly in the native language.
This is not a comedy, but it is funny at times. Sam Elliott does a very good job and shows a sense of humor.
On the other hand, it is violent, as action movies often are. It's not that bad.
I suppose this is worth seeing.
3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Opals In Oz, 4 May 2009
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York
The best thing about The Blue Lightning is the nice location
cinematography of the outback of Australia. The second best thing are
the scenes with the aborigines giving foreigners like us Yanks an
opportunity rarely granted to see folks we don't know about. Other than
that the film is basically a modern western.
Though it begins like a detective story. Millionaire Max Phipps in San Francisco hires private eye Sam Elliott to either get his $400,000.00 back or a rare opal found in the Australian outback called The Blue Lightning. It's in the possession of a former IRA gunman fled to the Australian outback where he's taken over the frontier town of Opal Ridge backed by as scurvy a lot of villains as he is.
From the minute Elliott sets foot in Oz he's pursued by the hirelings of Robert Culp who plays the former IRA man with style. Elliott joins forces with Rebecca Gilling whose husband went missing in Culp's territory and later with Jack Davis and his tribe of aborigines who have been exploited by Culp and company.
The Blue Lightning maybe set in Australia, but I know a western when I see one. Elliott and Culp and the rest of the cast of Australians perform their roles admirably, but it isn't anything you haven't seen before.
7 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
No spark in this "Lightning", 29 May 2004
Author: dinky-4 from Minneapolis
Sam Elliott's name might attract viewers to this made-in-Australia production but they're likely to be disappointed. He's no more than "adequate" in a script which has a tired, trite feel to it and which soon settles for "going through the motions." Some "Outback" locations around Broken Hill provide a bit of interest but not nearly enough to make this worth a look. Robert Culp is curiously cast as the villain and he occasionally rises above the material. (Sadly, despite all the heat and dust, Sam Elliott doesn't get to do a shower scene even though, at about age 42, he'd still look good walking around with just a towel knotted around his waist.)
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