Director Ivan Sen burst onto the scene back in 2002 with the superb Beneath Clouds, a film that picked up a whole bevy of local Australian and international awards. He’s only made four features since then – all distinctive in style and message.
Sadly, in his most commercial film to date, Sen loses focus. Indigenous detective Jay Swan (Aaron Pedersen – Mystery Road, Spear) arrives in the desolate, isolated mining town of Goldstone looking for a missing person. What he finds instead is corruption, the young local cop on the cusp of being on the take and evil personified in the Mayor (a glorious Jacki Weaver – Animal Kingdom, Silver Lining Playbook).
Outback Queensland looks stunning as Sen continues to explore the relevance and importance of the land in any Australian story, but the ‘boys own story’ narrative with its shoot outs, car chases and damsels in distress is somewhat hit and miss.