This Australian import's combination of cinematic chutzpah and supernatural overtones goes a long way to overcoming the scripts utter disregard for logic. Narrated in part by a dead man, it suggests that that crime films down under aren't as dependent on standard genre formulas as their American cousins. Though Ex-boxer Jimmy (Heath Ledger) hasn't learned from his late-brother's example that crime doesn't pay. Strapped for cash, he leaps at the chance to do odd jobs for arch-criminal Pando (Bryan Brown). When Jimmy can't deliver a $10,000 payment the client succumbed to a drug overdose Jimmy foolishly decides to cool off at the beach and buries his bundle in the sand. Two thieving urchins steal the cache of cash, so Jimmy decides to settle his account by robbing a bank. The heist goes bad and several people die. Meanwhile, the mobsters accidentally run down one of the kids who pilfered Jimmy's package, killing the little thief. Once Jimmy forks over the stolen cash to placate his boss, he'll be able to go straight. But will he, and what does the surviving ragamuffin have planned for the gangsters who ran over her accomplice? This unusual crime odyssey makes strikingly good use of its bizarre plot devices and atmosphere of existential dread, by Jimmy's heedless character is a substantial stumbling block. Even if he's meant to be a modern-day Candide navigating a picaresque crimescape, his recklessness makes it hard to sympathize with his travails. But if you can overlook near-imbecilic behavior, the film's nasty edge is a kick, as are the regular appearances by Jimmy's dead sibling. At one point, that ghost even intervenes in the plot by tampering with the gun of one of Jimmy's assailants. It's best to perceive this odd excursion into crime fantasy as an ironic fairy tale in which the protagonists are either child-like (like Jimmy) or actual children.
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- Released: 1998
- Rating: NR
- Review: This Australian import's combination of cinematic chutzpah and supernatural overtones goes a long way to overcoming the scripts utter disregard for logic. Narrated in part by a dead man, it suggests that that crime films down under aren't as dependent on s… (more)