W: Andrew Dominick [based on the book by Mark
DP: Geoffrey Hall & Kevin
Ed: Ken Sallows
Mus: Mick Harvey
Eric Bana (Mark 'Chopper' Read), Vince
Colosimo (Neville Bartos), Simon Lyndon (Jimmy Loughman), Kate Beahan (Tanya), David Field (Keithy George)
This crime film opens with a title card informing
us that, although it is based on a true story, written by a convict whilst serving a prison sentence, much has been fabricated for dramatic purposes. What follows is an in-your-face
assessment of a criminal, mixing brutal violence with a thread of cackling, dark humour.
Like other films on similar cases, it's the power
of the lead performance which makes it watchable, and full credit has to go to Eric Bana, who is plays an unlikeable character with animalistic magnetism, almost as though he relished
playing a character so despicable.
The narrative of the story itself, which has a
tendency to glamorise a thug's behaviour and 'rub your face in it', may stick in your craw.