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Australia 1982
Directed by
John Duigan
99 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3.5 stars

Far East

Bryan Brown plays Morgan Keefe, a Vietnam vet and a bar owner In an unnamed South-East Asian country (the film was evidently shot in the Philippines) who gets involved with a former lover (Helen Morse) who turns up with her journalist husband (John Bell) who is investigating the corrupt links between business and government enforcers.

It’s unusual to see an Australian film-maker tackle a political thriller and even more so, one set offshore. By and large writer/director John Duigan pulls it off, although the action sequences towards the end are a tad lame. There’s plenty of credible location atmosphere and backroom seediness and Bryan Brown makes a convincing ex-pat bar owner even if he lays his she’ll-be-right style on rather thickly (aided and abetted by Bill Hunter who seems to have no real purpose in the film other than to lend Ocker flavour).  John Bell is believable as the crusading journalist and Raina McKeon, who had a brief small screen career subsequently, is quite a presence as the local activist.On the other hand Helen Morse’s French accent is to say the least, rather unconvincing

Mixing the two themes of political intrigue and romantic triangle in the manner of Casablanca, the film tends to be too schematic with the romance (perhaps this is the result of over zealous editing as the DVD version ran around 99 mins although the cover claimed a running time of 107 mins) but is nevertheless an impressive tilt at a mainstream adult audience.




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