5.7/10
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11 user 13 critic

Down Under (2016)

A black comedy set during the aftermath of the Cronulla riots, it is the story of two carloads of hotheads from both sides of the fight destined to collide.

Director:

Abe Forsythe

Writer:

Abe Forsythe
Reviews
3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Fayssal Bazzi ... D-Mac
Chris Bunton ... Evan (as Christopher Bunton)
Michael Denkha ... Ibrahim
Harriet Dyer ... Stacey
Alexander England ... Shit-Stick
Damon Herriman ... Jason
Rahel Romahn ... Nick
Justin Rosniak Justin Rosniak ... Ditch
Lincoln Younes ... Hassim
David Field ... Vic
Marshall Napier ... Graham Sheather
Julia Ohannessian Julia Ohannessian ... Rashida
Zeynep Erturk Zeynep Erturk ... School Girl 1
Jessica Nash ... School Girl 2
Josh McConville ... Gav
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Storyline

A black comedy set during the aftermath of the Cronulla riots, it is the story of two carloads of hotheads from both sides of the fight destined to collide.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Australia v Australia - nobody wins. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Australia

Language:

Arabic | Thai | English

Release Date:

11 August 2016 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

Antypody See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

AUD 2,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Abe Forsythe came up with the idea for the film in 2010 after having children and wondering about the world they were coming into. See more »

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User Reviews

 
A comically lame quagmire of vilification and gratuitous violence.
14 August 2016 | by CineMuseFilmsSee all my reviews

To call Down Under (2016) a black comedy signals an intention to make light of something serious or controversial. But movie labels are all too often disguised marketing spin rather than accurate genre descriptions. Far from comedy, this film is a dystopian parody of an episode of Australian history that needs balanced understanding and nuance rather than exaggerated ridicule. It could have applied humour to lighten the portraits of racial bigotry but instead it creates a quagmire of gratuitous violence and comically lame racial, sexual and impairment vilification.

The opening scenes is the only time Down Under speaks with honesty and authenticity. Using archival footage of the 2005 Cronulla race riots overlaid with Christmas jingles, the stage is set for a clash of cultures that was seen around the world. The riots resulted from years of escalating tension between white locals who claimed 'ownership' of beautiful Cronulla beach and Lebanese groups from neighbouring suburbs wanting to share beach access. From this factual base, the film weaves a fictionalised account of two gangs of young men on opposing sides of the racial divide. With testosterone-fuelled honour at stake, the gangs escalate their violent rantings towards each other and cruise the streets hunting for supremacy. Along the way, they vilify everything and everyone so indiscriminately that are caricatures of aimless anger that bear no resemblance to real people. They are portrayed mostly as working class morons and hotheads whose constant screaming, swearing and physical abuse forms an endless spray of vitriol that makes this film an overcooked mess.

Down Under is a film that appears to have lost sight of its own purpose. If it was made to create humour out of violence then one-line clichés do little more than demonise stereotypes. If it was to offer insight into the cause of the riots then its fictional exaggerations undermine its credibility. If it was to portray the racist undercurrent of Australian culture then the absence of Indigenous people leaves it staring only at its own stereotypes. A wide chasm exists between the film's inspiration and execution, and whatever messages were intended are obscured by pushing creative limits into the realm of the absurd. The film leads towards an incoherent and implausible finale that fuses slapstick and violence without redemptive merit. It is disappointing to see such a lost opportunity to inform or entertain. The film's closing credits were a welcome sight.


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