A New Zealand man recently estranged from his family gets unwittingly caught up in a revolution.A New Zealand man recently estranged from his family gets unwittingly caught up in a revolution.A New Zealand man recently estranged from his family gets unwittingly caught up in a revolution.
Neill is typically solid as a rock, and you can understand his characters' frustration. He's surrounded by good Kiwi actors, including Ian Mune (who also co-wrote the screenplay) as the passionate Bullen, Nevan Rowe as Smiths' activist wife Gloria, Ian Watkin (you may remember him as Uncle Les in Peter Jacksons' "Braindead") as helpful bar owner Dudley, and Clyde Scott as government man Jesperson. Jesperson wants Smith to confess to being a revolutionary in exchange for better treatment, but Smith will have none of that.
Of course, part of the hook of the story is watching Smith resist the inevitable, and wondering if or when he will give in.
Gorgeous NZ scenery, an effective music score, and some good action scenes add to the overall entertainment value. Naturally, many American viewers may be drawn to this upon seeing that the iconic Warren Oates has a "guest star" role. It's a reasonably interesting role that benefits from his unique presence.
This also announced the arrival of filmmaker Roger Donaldson in a big way. In the 80s, he moved to Hollywood when he turned out features like "The Bounty", "No Way Out", "Species", and "Dante's Peak". (His peer Geoff Murphy is credited with special FX; Murphy himself has directed such movies as "Utu", "The Quiet Earth", "Young Guns II", and "Under Siege 2: Dark Territory".)
Overall, a compelling tale well told, that keeps the viewer attentive until its final scenes.
Eight out of 10.
- Jun 30, 2019