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Australia 2001
Directed by
Matthew George
100 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
2 stars

Let's Get Skase

This film about a band of amateurs who try to kidnap real-life fugitive Australian entrepreneur Christopher Skase died a quick death in the cinemas, not helped by the fact that Skase himself had died (well, allegedly) shortly before the film's release.

Although it may have been thought that public interest in Skase would have been enough to get the film across the line, arguably it never really had an audience. Modelled on umpteen similar American comedies (the actual kidnap section is strongly reminiscent of  the equivalent in True Lies and it lacks many of the homely characteristics of the standard Australian comedy. But whilst its production values are too low (the production team have a television background) to compete with Hollywood product on the domestic market, its central concern (Skase) is so localised as to be meaningless to an international audience.

But more damning is the fact that the film mixes physical comedy with parody with feelgood 'triumph of the underdog' sentiment in an unsatisfying mélange that makes it difficult to tell what is intentionally bad (whether funnily or parodically so) from what is just plain bad. This is pretty much summed up in the principal character, played by co-writer (with the director), Lachy Hulme, who seems to be schmuck and hero at the same time. The writers should have had a look at the wannabe character of Joey Grasso in Walk The Talk (2000), a comparable but much better-written character.




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