Chopper tells the intense story of Mark "Chopper" Read, a legendary criminal who wrote his autobiography while serving a jail sentence in prison. His book, "From the Inside", upon which the film is based, was a best-seller.
A young man who was sentenced to seven years in prison for robbing a post office ends up spending three decades in solitary confinement. During this time, his own personality is supplanted by his alter-ego, Charles Bronson.
Chopper tells the intense story of Mark "Chopper" Read, a legendary criminal who wrote his autobiography while serving a murder sentence in prison. His book, From the Inside, upon which the film is based, was a best-seller. Written by
Eric Bana admitted to eating junk food for four weeks to put on the extra weight needed to play the 1986 Chopper. See more »
Despite having his right ear cut off in prison, Chopper's right ear remains visibly intact throughout the movie. See more »
So you took him to the hospital?
No, I didn't take him to the bloody hospital. Now tell me this, right? Why would I shoot a bloke - BANG - and then put him in the bloody car and whiz him off to the hospital at a hundred miles an hour? It defeats the purpose of having shot him in the first place. What's more, it's bloody insulting, it's bloody insulting. I mean, am I the only bloody standover man in the country who provides a medical plan for some of these characters?
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Great acting by Eric Bana lifts this above your average gangster flick
I want to start by saying that I hate gangster movies. I thoroughly dislike being asked to identify with murderers and criminals and to treat organised criminals as "anti-heroes". With this in mind I was quite surprised to find that I really enjoyed "Chopper".
As previous reviewers have said, this is essentially a character study rather than a story. The reason it works so well is that Mark Brandon Read is a compelling character beautifully impersonated by Eric Bana. Anyone who's ever seen an interview with Read himself can appreciate what a close impersonation Bana achieves; his sudden guffawing laugh and light-hearted way of talking about his really unpleasant deeds being perfectly copied. The movie manages to do what I'm sure Read himself has achieved in real life - it tricks you into liking him before revealing that his hair-trigger temper and propensity for paranoia and violence make him a dangerous person to be around. The thing that keeps you watching is Chopper's jovial nature but also his unpredictability. In circumstances where other gangsters would have gone on a killing spree, Chopper just shrugs and takes it in his stride. But likewise, in throughly innocuous circumstances, his paranoia can kick in at any moment and send him on a violent outburst.
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