Tense and smart -- that's really all I was hoping for with this one. And it delivered. It's a road-movie in the grand old Aussie tradition of road-movies, with men on a mission through dust and desolation. No matter how much you isolate yourself, the movie tells us, threats abound both physical and psychological.
John kidnaps Eli and takes him on a dusty drive across country. Eli is not sure what he's done to deserve this treatment or just who it is John is delivering him to, but he seems to settle into the idea that someone has it in for him. And so, instead of wondering he starts to figure out a way to escape, His attempts are thwarted at every turn by John who Eli realises is not your average delivery man. John's car gives away the fact that he's a family man, so Eli begins to use that knowledge to get close to his kidnapper. The two begin to form a bizarre kind of kinship that plays itself out in deep conversations interspersed with incidences where John must remind Eli who's boss.
But the outback proves it's not hidden, that eyes are everywhere, and that as tough as you think you are, it's 10 times tougher. The plans of both men are soon thwarted, and shit really starts hitting the fan.
In the end, you just don't know who to root for. The movie plays with convention, screws with our conceptions of good guys and bad guys, and ups the ante as far as the whodunnits and whydunnits until the end. It's a decent little movie, with some amazing lead performances, great scenery, and clever writing. My favourite bit? You might think being bound and gagged in a dingy car in the middle of the Aussie outback is torture -- what if, at the same time, the Wiggles' "Hot Potato" is on the stereo ON REPEAT? Now what's torture?
This was not the movie I expected it to be. I was hoping, I guess, for more of a Hitcher or Road Games type thriller. Instead, I got psychological drama and character study.