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An activist group makes a deal with treasure-seeking Rovers and their modified four-wheel-drives for an expedition through treacherous Australian terrain. Tensions rise and ulterior motives are revealed with exciting off-road chases, daring rescues and amazing discoveries to follow.Written by
Driving into local cinemas in March, Australian grown independent film (and labour of love) Rough Stuff offers up a rollicking adventure through the bushy wildlands of New South Wales and becomes one of the more exciting locally made adventures for quite some time in the process.
Debut writer/director Jonathan Adams has tapped into Australia's long time love for 4×4 driving, the thrill of getting off the main road and seeing where that may take you, and combined that with a quest for treasure, a fight for survival against a maniacal bush ranger and an environmental activist group trying to stop the big, bad corporation from destroying our natural beauty, and it all works together to combine and give Rough Stuff an unpredictable and often exhilarating narrative push.
Sure to appeal to car lovers and thrill-seekers, Adams hasn't neglected the core ingredients of a good feature film, with Rough Stuff providing a constant stream of laughs to compliment the off-road exploring, that gives us ample dirt-track car chases and some fairly hairy stunt work. Add in a bunch of characters that create a rag-tag group of heroes, anti-heroes and villains and you'll be glad you came along for the ride.
Led by Gareth Rickards as the rough and ready rover Buzz, Rough Stuff offers one of most likeable casts of misfits and miscreants we've seen in a local production for some time.
With able support from Vincent Andriano and Sam Glissan as Buzz's off-road loving sidekicks Abe and Scraps, and memorable supporting turns from Hayley Sullivan and Jamie Kristian as members of the vegan eco-group that have teamed themselves up with Buzz and his crew to bash and crash their way through the thick bushlands of the Australian landscape, Rough Stuff has somebody and something for everyone while Adams and his team behind the camera have worked hard to capture some truly stunning action and shots of the Australian vistas, that will likely have overseas watchers jumping on the nearest plane to come and explore the great outdoors that lay at our doorstep.
When Rough Stuff clicks into gear, it provides an exciting, visually spectacular thrill ride that offers up something unique and different to what we've seen in local productions before.
While its "rough" around the edges in some areas, Rough Stuff is set to be a favourite amongst the many outdoor 4×4 explorers that inhabit our fair shores, and this fun and likeable adventure is one of those rare local productions that has a broad enough appeal to become an overseas favourite as well as one of the most easily accessible films from the growing list of quality, locally made features.
3 ½ shovels out of 5
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