Browse all reviews by letter     A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 0 - 9

Australia 2016
Directed by
Abe Forsythe
90 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Sharon Hurst
3.5 stars

Down Under

Synopsis: In 2005 gangs of young white Australains brawled with groups of Lebanese in what became known as the Cronulla riots. In this black comedy, set in the wake of the riots, two carloads of hotheads, one from each side of the conflict, take to the streets looking for revenge. A lot of silliness ensues but eventually things head in a direction no-one could have imagined.

Taking what is a very serious topic, that of racism and violence, and giving it a hefty dose of absurdity and hyperbole could have been a dangerous task for director Abe Forsythe to tackle. But it has turned out to be just what is needed as a circuit breaker – an opportunity to laugh while ridiculing the ignorance and stupidity on both sides of the conflict.

In the “Lebbo” camp we have Hassim (Lincoln Younes), a studious young man who doesn’t define himself by his religion and wants nothing to do with gangs. But his drug-dealing friend Nick (Rahel Romahn) manages to talk him into joining the revenge mission. Along for the ride is an older visiting Uncle, Ibrahim (Michael Denkha) and aspiring rapper D-Mac (Fayssal Bazzi).

In the Ocker camp are Shit Stck (Alexander England) a gentle dope-smoking peacenik and his little nephew Evan (an excellent performance by Christopher Bunton) who has Down Syndrome. Then we have Ned Kelly admirer, Ditch (Justin Rosniak), whose head is completely bandaged while he is recovering from some facial tattooing, and the most enthusiastic brawler of them all, Jason (Damon Herriman), who, ironically, is browbeaten by his pregnant girlfriend, Stacey (Harriet Dyer). David Field, best known for his hard man characters, provides some deliciously wicked laughs as a gay meth dealer.

No doubt this film will offend some people but I couldn’t help but laugh at much of this often ludicrous yet clever and ultimately sobering story which mercilesssly lampoons its stereotypical characters, Ocker or Lebbo. What’s common to both sides is that stupidity knows no race or border and that ignorance, no matter on whose side, is what leads to disaster.

The dialogue and action crack along at a brisk pace, including some refreshingly different car chases and there are plenty of unexpected surprises, meaning that things never fall into predictable territory. The crisply shot film looks good and with a strong cast giving distinctiveness to each of their characters. Down Under is a great way to laugh a lot and then go out and think about the serious problems which underscore its story.




Want more about this film?

search youtube  search wikipedia  

Want something different?

random vintage best worst