Saturday, October 18, 2014

LFF short review: Aussie heist thriller Son of a Gun


Ewan McGregor goes for his best Liam Neeson in the Aussie thriller Son of a Gun. Sporting a (to me) unidentifiable accent, closer to Scottish than Australian, he appears as a tough, unscrupulous, shouty criminal. In prison, he takes the rookie Brentan Thwaites under his wings and pulls him into a world of heavy crime. During the preparations for a robbery, the latter then falls hopelessly in love with Alicia Vikander, an Eastern European girl who "belongs" the boss of the gang.  

The film is a skilfully directed heist thriller, seemingly intent on crowbarring as many clish├ęs into two hours as possible. There is a prison break, clunky dialogue, loud gunfire, a damsel in distress, a MacGuffin, an obvious twist and so on. Writer-director Julius Avery, who makes his feature debut, drew on personal experience when writing the script, but too little of this shines through. Thwaites furthermore makes for an extremely bland hero. The screen presence of McGregor and even more so Vikander eclipse him completely. The action is fun and there are a couple of laughs, but Son of a Gun lacks imagination. Not boring, not bad, but average throughout. Son of a Gun is the cinematic equivalent of a microwave soup.      

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