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.
Though recognized for heroism as a lad, Ned Kelly can not escape the stigma of being the eldest of a brood sired by a known criminal. In days when an arrest equaled guilt and a conviction, his unfair imprisonment for horse thievery puts him steadfast, in the eyes of Victorian police, on the wrong side of things for life. With a sister unable to dissuade the unwanted advances of Constable Fitzpatrick, Ned, his brother Dan, and friends Joe Byrne and Steve Hart soon find themselves labeled "an outlaw gang" by the less-than-honorable constable. It's a designation they're apt to live up to after Ned's mother is unfairly arrested and sentenced to three years hard labor. In retaliation, the Kelly Gang strikes out against the oppressive Victorian government, with ultimately tragic results and passage into Australian folklore. Written by
Ned's original armor can be seen on display at the State Library of Victoria, Australia. Joe's armor is in the hands of a private collector. The National Trust (Old Melbourne Gaol) owns the armor believed to be Dan's. Steve's is with the Police Historical Unit (Police Museum in Melbourne). See more »
All of Kelly's gang are shown wearing both front and rear armor. In reality, only Kelly had front and back plates, the others only had front plates. 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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Before viewing Ned Kelly, my only knowledge of this Australian outlaw was that he wore a bucket on his head. Having now seen this fairly enjoyable movie about his struggle for justice in the outback, I am a little bit more clued up; but I do have to ask how much fiction has replaced fact in this telling of the legend of Ned Kelly. Was he really so righteous, or have facts been changed to make the character more sympathetic and appealing to the audience?
Director Gregor Jordan works well with the questionably accurate script, getting good performances from his lead Heath Ledger, who impresses with his portrayal of a man fighting the system the only way he knows how. Also worthy of mention is Orlando Bloom as Ned's friend Joseph and Geoffrey Rush as top cop Francis Hare. Naomi Watts, however, is wasted as Ned's piece of posh totty in an unnecessary romantic sub-plot.
Whilst the movie never bores, it never really excels either, leaving this reviewer feeling rather apathetic towards it, hence my just-slightly-above-average rating of 6/10.
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