Dirty Deeds
3 out of 5 stars
R E V I E W   B Y   R I C H   C L I N E
done dirt cheap This sparky, energetic Aussie comedy takes off and never lets up for a second. It's a thoroughly enjoyable romp, with a bit of thoughtful subtext and extremely engaging characters. Darcy (Worthington) is a young soldier just home in 1969 Sydney after a stint in Vietnam. To find his feet, he takes a job with his Uncle Barry (Brown), a small-town gangster with a slot-machine racket and a bent cop pal (Neill) to help him get away with it. Barry's mistress Margaret (Morassi) is quickly falling for Darcy, which is just fine with Barry's tough-minded wife (Collette). Meanwhile, two Americans (Goodman and Williamson) arrive with an offer they think the simpleton Aussies can't refuse. But lessons Darcy learned in Vietnam echo in his mind: Does he really want to be doing someone else's dirty work in a place where the locals have nothing to lose?

Writer-director Caesar lives up to the promise of his last film Mullet, maintaining the 1960s vibe brilliantly from start to finish--sharply observant script, garish colours, lively music (including the AC/DC title track of course), witty camera angles and film stock that's both glaring and grainy. Meanwhile, the terrific cast sinks its teeth into characters that are always more than they seem. As usual, Collette is the standout, with a feisty, blousy performance that catches us off guard at the end. While Worthington and Morassi hold their own admirably with their romantic subplot--like two cute puppies caught in the middle of a dingo feeding frenzy! In the end, there's not much to the film really, and the big Outback climax kind of peters out without the promised excitement. But it's such rambunctious fun that you don't really mind at all.

cert 15 themes, language, violence 22.May.03

dir-scr David Caesar
with Bryan Brown, Sam Worthington, Toni Collette, John Goodman, Sam Neill, Kestie Morassi, Felix Williamson, Andrew S Gilbert, William McInnes, Garry Waddell, Gabriel Egan, Bille Brown
release Australia 18.Jul.02; UK 6.Jun.03
Alliance Atlantis
02/Australia 1h37

Outback adventure. Goodman and Worthington.

brown collette niell

23rd Shadows Awards

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send your review to Shadows... done dirt cheap Still waiting for your comments ... don't be shy.
2003 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall