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|Index||56 reviews in total|
Red Hill could best be described as an Australian take on the American
Western. It centres on a young policeman who moves to a remote town to
work with the local police department. The town is immediately laid
under siege by an escaped Aboriginal convict who appears to have a
grudge against the local police officers and their lackeys. Dark
secrets from the past are gradually revealed.
This is a very well put together film. Cinematography, music and acting are all of a very high calibre. Ryan Kwanten is particularly good as the young policeman with insecurities and fears of his own; Kwanten makes for a very likable lead and injects some moments of humour into the suspenseful narrative. Tommy Lewis is also highly memorable as Jimmy Conway, the silent escaped convict with grimly burned face. The Australian landscape is captured nicely and the score compliments proceedings well.
It has to be said that the storyline is a little predictable. There isn't really anything overly new here. But this is not a significant problem as it really is a very well put together film. It's a solid thriller, and along with Wolf Creek proves that the Australian film industry is more than capable of delivering superior product in this genre. This one is well worth your time.
Shane Cooper has just moved to the small town of Red Hill. On his first
day as a constable, he must try to stop a very dangerous convict who
just escaped and is coming back in town for unfinished business.
In a nutshell, this is Red Hill and those few lines alone are sufficient to understand this plot contains classic western elements. Director Patrick Hughes seems to understand the genre very much and seamlessly blends it to the somewhat modern context.
Taken as a very serious film, Red Hill might not score very high but thankfully, Hughes doesn't take it too seriously and has written a smart script that has great ingredients and builds up the tension gradually. His direction is likewise efficient, mixing contemplative scenes with straight up action/thriller. Overall, it's got some mood to it while never forgetting it's first and foremost a piece of entertainment.
At the heart of the film are the main characters. Hughes doesn't offer much exposition for and still succeeds in giving a lot of life to most of them. This is in part good writing and direction but also due to the very talented cast. Ryan Kwanten stars as young constable Shane Cooper and he conveys very well the "main hero" vibe by being human and vulnerable rather than just a squeaky clean superhero. Steve Bisley plays Bill, his boss who represents the law in town and pretty much seems to run it. Bisley is amazing to watch and steals many of the scenes he is in with great charisma and a domineering personality. When he talks, people listen. Finally, Tommy Lewis plays Jimmy Conway, the convict on the loose. Lewis succeeds in giving his character a brutal, menacing aura without uttering a single word, which I find very impressive.
One of the very impressive element of Red Hill is the stunning music score. Absolutely wonderful work by Dmitri Golovko, who has very few credits to his name. The script shifts through different tones and moods and Golovko is always right on target, never overdoing it. Expect to hear more from this guy in the future.
Despite all the praise, Red Hill is not perfect. The surrounding characters in the story (other officers of the law, various citizens and Cooper's wife) are too sketchy. The cinematography is cool but few scenes are really memorable and absolutely nothing will make your jaw drop. The action scenes range from "pretty cool" to "lacking". The western genre is cleverly revisited and transposed to our times but Hughes doesn't bring anything new at all. What you have a cool film that partly reminded me of classic Walter Hill movies. I wish Hughes had given just another pass to his script, fleshing out some characters and situations just a little more and given slightly more thought to some scenes, including the conclusion which I feel was slightly anti-climactic the way it was shot.
But if you're a fan of classic western or old school action thrillers that do not sacrifice a smart script just to string one action scene after another there is no doubt Red Hill should at least entertain you. Australian cinema keeps on expanding in all directions and I keep on loving it!
For his first full feature, Patrick Hughes has done very well and I am looking forward to more films written and/or directed by him.
I have to say when I downloaded this flick I totally wasn't expecting
to be blown away like I was. It doesn't matter that the movie uses a
familiar premise because they do it with unbelievable style. A young
City sheriff and his wife are expecting a baby. The youngster decides
to leave the City for a more relaxed cushy job in the Australian
countryside. All is well and the small town appears to be a peaceful
place until a local murderer with a nasty revenge streak blasts his way
out of prison. Old scars are reopened with a vengeance in this Western
Chiller. I won't go any further, but I just loved the badass Conway in
this. Bearing a small resemblance to Charles Bronson he never says a
word and still is one of the is the scariest people you will ever
encounter in film.
If you liked No country for old me, I would highly recommend this movie. Actually I recommend it anyway. Check it out. Its a doosie:)
When Kane Hodder says, this is the best movie that ran on Frightfest
(Festival in London), you don't argue with him. Well not to his face
that is. Unless Freddy's got your back ... Seriously though: This movie
is very fine crafted and has not only a great ambiguous feeling about
it, it has also great performances.
You may know where this is heading, because the hints are very obvious, but get them or not, I don't think that should matter much. I do think that you can enjoy the movie either way. It is violent and it is very dark and bleak too. But it also has a counterbalance to all that. The reason Kane Hodder liked the movie? Because it has one of the greatest villains in it (and coming from Kane, that says something)
Edit: Of course Kane meant best movie besides Hatchet 2 (the latter being his real favorite), that was shown at the Festival too.
For quite some time now, amongst the 1000's of movies I have watched, I noticed a certain ennui to my movie watching, as other people have said, this has been done before, most notably in American westerns. The wronged man comes back to reap his vengeance on the evil-doers. If this had been strictly formulaic and badly acted and filmed i would not have seen it all the way through to the ending. However, I was pleasantly entertained, I don't think it was too obvious a plot, it had me guessing for a while. The escaped convict looked suitably elemental and Ryan Kwanten as the young cop on his first bloody day in the outback played it well. Yes, there were some strange parts to the movie, although I just found the inclusion of the wild animal an amusing aside, and not to be taken too seriously. The score was good, the atmosphere was suitably bleak and a lot of it filmed at night to add to the tension. I think people expect too much these days, no this was not Unforgiven, but for a low budget movie out of Australia I thought this was a good remake of the classic revenge western. Certainly worth a viewing if you love westerns, or if you like revenge plots. For a Sunday afternoon, you could do a whole lot worse.
I have watched thousands of films over the years and I am not saying
this was the best film I have ever seen but it was so good I registered
just to review it.
Most of this thriller is set at night, which makes it very edgy and atmospheric. The acting is top notch, good characters and a strong storyline.
It is the story of a young cop who transferred to a quiet Australian town to alleviate the stress on his pregnant wife who previously suffered a miscarriage. On his first day at the office an escaped convict comes to town, intent on bloody revenge.
An excellent film all round.
Red Hill follows a police officer who recently transferred from the
city to the rural town of Red Hill for the health of his pregnant wife.
On his first day, however, an escaped convict threatens the apparent
peace in the town.
I loved this movie. The camera work was excellent,the town's characters had-character, and the tense sections were pulled off just right. The main direction the movie would take was discernible early on, but I never knew what would happen next. It played like a western and had a wonderful small town feel.
I would recommend this movie to anyone. It was gripping, fun, and had touching moments. Excellent!
There are a couple of times when there's what I judge an unnecessary
jump in the plot line to accommodate something improbable in an
otherwise realistic situation. They're minor flaws that actually
brought a smile to my face rather than a groan, but they seem a little
out of place even though this is an Australian film and they're famous
for that kind of inclusion.
It didn't ruin my evening but it would have improved the film to have passed on them. This is an easily understood plot: a cop needs to get to a peaceful town in order that his wife can successfully carry their baby. Naturally, things go wrong his first day when a convicted murderer heads to the remote town to wreak havoc on his accusers. There little flashy gunplay or inspirational heroics, but the film will grow on you because it's very human and understandable.
All roles are artfully rendered by the cast and there's the constant feeling that you are there in a remote but beautiful area of Australia.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
At the outset, I think reviewers should be careful about detailing the
plot, unless they've indicated spoilers. By the time the film ends,
it's nothing you've expected, even after the first hour of the film. In
fact you may even want to skip this review until after you've seen it.
This is a film about a young police office and his wife moving from the city to the outback, with the promise of a more relaxed setting to live and work.
What follows is a clash of cultures and personalities, set amidst the premise of action and suspense, but ultimately adding up to much more.
Lost in the on-target acting (look up who the chief of police was after watching the film, if you haven't placed him, you'll be surprised), harsh and beautiful scenery, and well-suited music, is a patient hand in the director's chair, that results in a payoff that which leave you breathless. Not to be missed.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I tried to like this film but it requires too much suspension of disbelief. First and foremost the lead character "Shayne" survives falling off a cliff and ends up with innumerable injuries. We see him profusely bleeding along the waistline. He ends up walking long distances while injured yet still has the ability to run like a rabbit when gunfire erupts. There also seems to be a problem with most of the armed men in this movie as they never take a shot at the heavy even when they have the element of surprise with them. One poor bastard even squeezes off 6 shots at a distance of 15 feet and never hits the heavy. Add to the mix that although this film happens in a small rural Aussie town, aside from the few principals, nobody else is ever seen. Keep in mind that automatic gun fire, car wrecks and explosions are occurring right in the middle of Main Street but nobody even goes to a window to see that is happening. There is talk of "a big storm brewing" but aside from the allegory to the story it fails to materialize. I guess all the town folk are hold up waiting for the big storm to blow over. Cliché after cliché leads to an ending you can see coming from the beginning of the film. A real letdown.
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