Despite trying to keep his swashbuckling to a minimum, a threat to California's pending statehood causes the adventure-loving Alejandro de la Vega (Banderas) -- and his wife, Elena (Zeta-Jones) -- to take action.
The Sydney Morning Herald suggested that Heath Ledger was made for the role because when he tried on Ned Kelly's original iron armour, it fit perfectly. Heath Ledger was quoted saying, "It was quite eerie actually ... we're the same height and the same body weight. He was skinny 'cause he was starving, I'm skinny 'cause I don't go to the gym." See more »
The scene of the shoot out at Glenrowan shows many police being shot. In reality, the only police casualty was Superintendent Francis Hare who received a slight wound to his wrist. See more »
I was the hero of Hughes Creek. I can still see the glint in me Da's eye as he looked down at me, his hand on me shoulder. What did he call me that day? Ah, what did Da call me? That's right. He called me Sunshine.
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Based on the famous novel 'Our Sunshine', 'Ned Kelly' is a watchable film. The problem is the way the story is told. There have been quite a number of films based on heroic legends. Sadly, this one is no different and almost every moment of it is downright predictable.
The strength lies in the portrayal of the characters. Kelly and his gang are portrayed as human beings rather than the typical ruthless heroes suffering from affective flattening. On the other hand, the screenplay is so fast paced that one wonders whether Jordan really rushed through it as 'Ned Kelly' certainly would have benefited more if the script was better developed (e.g. Julia Cook could have used more scenes). As a result the film looks more like a brief summary of Kelly's life. We don't even see the trial and execution of Ned Kelly.
In the technical department, the cinematography, background score and beautiful locations deserve mention as they certainly add to the film's quality. There are some beautiful shots of the Australian landscape and the set design and few songs do give a feel of the time.
Heath Ledger is adequate in the title role but it is Orlando Bloom who steals the show. The guy seems to be in complete form (unlike his awkward presence in films like 'Kingdom of Heaven') and does full justice to the part. Naomi Watts shines in a small role. Geoffrey Rush deserved a better part but the actor nonetheless stands out. Most of the supporting cast do well. However, some of the villainous corrupt cops come across as caricatures.
Finally, Jordan's 'Ned Kelly' just doesn't do full justice in portraying Kelly's life. It ends up being a clichéd film and a mere summary of the legend. If one has nothing else to do, they might want to check 'Ned Kelly' out just to kill time but if one wants to learn about the legend, then this isn't the best source.
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