NewsBring Him to Me - Australian mob thriller finally set for release...

Bring Him to Me – Australian mob thriller finally set for release in November

It’s been delayed to almost Bond-style proportions. But at last, there is a light at the end of the tunnel and one of the most anticipated titles from Australian cinema this decade is finally set for cinematic release. 

Bring Him to Me includes a stellar cast, a respected director and a time-honored theme. In a technique last seen in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, it captures a famous moment from another famous production and takes us off on a side road, exploring new territory on a tangent from the original plot.

Casino origins – an Australian imperative

The famous title in question is Martin Scorsese’s 1995 classic film noir Casino.

We’ll have no spoilers here, but for those who have seen it, we need only say the word “cornfield.” That famous scene serves as a launchpad.

Anything casino related seems fated to do well in Australia. It’s well known that when they are not catching great movies, Australians enjoy finding safe online casinos to play the pokies, roulette and so on. In fact, no nation spends more per capita on gambling games than Australians.  

Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that casinos often feature in Australian movies. Earlier this year, we saw a welcome return to form for Russell Crowe in Poker Face. Now, following a distribution acquisition by Australia’s Rialto Boards, Bring Him to Me takes us back into a murky underworld of gangsters, double crosses and tested loyalties.

Inspiration from different directions  

Image by on Freepik

The movie’s film noir origins are clear to see, but there are other flavors in the mix. Director Luke Sparke has already proved his credentials with titles like Red Billabong and Occupation, which won him the Best Feature Film at the 2018 Australian Screen Industry Network Awards. 

Sparke’s latest venture, a re-release of Red Billabong under the new title of The Devil Beneath, was broadly panned by critics. Bring Him to Me provides an opportunity to get back in favor with both the critics and the movie-going public across the globe. 

Shooting took place in Queensland He took time out during filming in Australia to share some words with the media. 

He remarked: “I’ve been fascinated by morally grey stories like Breaking Bad and Drive so when presented with the chance to dive deep into the underworld, I couldn’t resist bringing my own flavor to the genre toeing the lines of film noir and graphic novels.”

Sam Neil’s return to the top

Sparke’s production has two capable front men leading the way in Jamie Costa and Barry Pepper, who won plenty of followers with his roles in Saving Private Ryan and The Green Mile. But the majority of viewers will be focused more on the return of the legendary Sam Neil to the big screen. 

Aside from some voice work and a handful of forgettable minor roles, little has been seen of the Jurassic Park star since his role in Peaky Blinders ten years ago. Neil turns 76 this year, but passes for a man 20 years younger. He clearly enjoys the bad guy persona and dominates the screen whenever he appears in the previews that have been released to date.

It is good news for his fans, who were recently left reeling by the revelation that he has been undergoing treatment for stage three blood cancer. He recently announced on social media that he has been in remission for eight months and will soon begin filming on his next project, a TV series called Apples Never Fall, which stars Annette Bening. 

And still more star power

Photo by Avel Chuklanov on Unsplash

Luke Sparke mentioned moral ambiguity, and it is fair to say that there are more bad guys than good guys in Bring Him to Me. Or at least, the bad guys are more easily labelled. We should also point out that the word “guys” is meant in the 2020s gender neutral sense, as one of them is played by another screen legend who has kept a recent low profile. 

Rachel Griffiths has received numerous awards over the years for her contributions to classic movies like Muriel’s Wedding and TV shows such as Six Feet Under and Brothers and Sisters. She has spent most of the past decade on stage, so it is great to see her return to the big screen. Like Sam Neil, she looks like she’s having a ball playing the evil character who gets to speak the four words that make up the title and that set everything else in motion. 

A different type of crisis

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead took two minor characters from one of the world’s most revered plays, followed them off stage and witnessed their existential crisis. Bring Him to Me takes a moment in a classic 1990s crime thriller, takes us off at a similar tangent and sees the protagonists face the sort of crisis that involves lots of guns, car chases and explosions. 

Luke Sparke is no Tom Stoppard and does not pretend to be. But his movie nevertheless leaves us with plenty of questions about right, wrong and the terribly narrow border between the two. Alternatively, you can simply sit back and enjoy the car chases and shoot outs – the movie will be out in November and the choice is yours. 

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