18 user 12 critic

The Merger (2018)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, Sport | 30 August 2018 (Australia)
2:33 | Trailer
Troy Carrington, a former professional football player returns to his country town after an abrupt end to his sporting career and is persuaded to coach the hapless local footy team, the Roosters.


Mark Grentell


Damian Callinan
6 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Damian Callinan ... Troy Carrington
Kate Mulvany ... Angie Barlow
John Howard ... Bull Barlow
Rafferty Grierson ... Neil Barlow
Fayssal Bazzi ... Sayyid
Nick Cody ... Goober
Josh McConville ... Snapper
Penny Cook ... Fran Barlow
Angus McLaren ... Carpet Burn
Stephen Hunter ... Neville
Ben Knight ... Harpo
Sahil Saluja ... Suresh
Zenia Starr ... Navina
Francis Kamara Francis Kamara ... Didier
Harry Tseng Harry Tseng ... Tou Pou


Troy Carrington, a former professional football player returns to his country town after an abrupt end to his sporting career and is persuaded to coach the hapless local footy team, the Roosters.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


What makes them different, makes them a team. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Sport


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Second theatrical feature film of director Mark Grentell set in Wagga Wagga in the state of New South Wales in Australia. The first was 'Backyard Ashes' (2013). The Australian country town is known as just 'Wagga' to the locals. See more »


A few times in the final quarter of the Grand Final, footage is in mirror image. See more »


Neil Barlow: What's a 'merger'?
Goober: Oh it's when one shit team joins up with another shit team to make a slightly less shit team.
See more »

User Reviews

A loveable Australian yarn
4 October 2018 | by eddie_bagginsSee all my reviews

As Australian as a hot meat pie and a pair of well-worn thongs, The Merger is a quintessential ocker production but one also with a heart and message that will resonate with viewers of all shapes, sizes and backgrounds, making this local yarn a genuine winner.

Based on its lead actor and screenwriter Damian Callinan's well regarded one man show of the same name, audience's won't be overly surprised by where The Merger's plot line of underdogs up against the odds takes them but that matters little when there's so much heart and soul on display in Mark Grentell's film, along with a winning collection of character's that fittingly take the leap from stage to screen.

Taking place in the fictional small country town of Bodgy Creek and focusing around the struggling Bodgy Creek Australian Rules Football club The Rooster's, whose demolished asbestos ridden club rooms are the least of the clubs worries, The Merger nails small town mentality and the key role sport plays in these communities, as Callinan's retired AFL player Troy Carrington takes over the coaching reigns and embraces the towns refugee community to ensure the football club can field a competitive team.

Through this story The Merger crafts a truly loveable ensemble as Callinan is flanked by a fun and well-structured entourage of supporting players from John Howard's grizzled old town mainstay and refugee hater Bull Barlow, Kate Mulvany's determined single mother Angie Barlow and her son Neil (played promisingly by relative newcomer Rafferty Grierson) and then the rag tag makeshift Rooster player's who get the films best laughs and most heartfelt moments.

It's within this aspect that The Merger will surprise unsuspecting audiences, as what might initially seem like a stereotypical Australian sports comedy filled with scenes at the local pub or creative swearing becomes much more, as Callinan and Grentell shine a light on the oft hidden underbelly of Australian's intolerance towards those they don't understand and cultures that are foreign to theirs.

While still telling an often hilariously on point story of the Roosters and their playing roster that includes such gems as Porterhouse the local chef or Snapper the entrepreneur, The Merger brings in supporting characters like Fayssal Bazzi's Syrian refugee Sayyid, Harry Tseng's Taiwanese Tou Pou or Francis Kamara's African Didier and with that, a flavoursome and culturally rich tale of acceptance, friendship and mime football emerges.

Final Say -

A future Australian favourite that will become a mainstay of lounge-room viewing in the years to come, The Merger is a little film with a big heart and one of the most loveable Aussie comedies of the last few year's.

4 sweet n sour chicken kievs out of 5

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English | Arabic

Release Date:

30 August 2018 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

The Merger See more »

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