Today we are going to flash back to the year 2010. Animal Kingdom was nominated for a shit ton of awards, including an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. Not only was it nominated for a shit ton of awards, it also won a shit ton of awards. It is a highly decorated, Australian crime drama film.
Fast forward a years, to the end of 2011. I saw Animal Kingdom in a Blockbuster on Blu-Ray for sale. I bought it, thinking it looked interesting and determined I would watch it shortly. I mean hey, it won awards, it must be good!
About a week later, I was about to make good on my promise, put it in the PS3 and started to watch it. Twenty minutes later, I had to stop the film as I realized I had no idea what I was doing, I was too busy multi tasking, and then I got tired and said I would get back to it eventually.
WELL EVENTUALLY IS FINALLY HERE TODAY, FOLKS! I have owned it on Blu-Ray for almost four whole years and I have wanted to watch it since I bought it. Clearly, there is no better film I could have picked to showcase on the last day of my Fucking Finally week.
Given the title, it should come to no surprise to you that everyone runs around on all fours.
This is a story about a family. A family who all happen to be criminals.
J (James Frencheville) lives with his Mum. Or at least he did until she OD’d. Now he is going to movie into a home with his grandmother, Smurf (Jacki Weaver). Don’t worry, that is just a nickname.
Also in the house are a few of his uncles! There is Baz (Joel Edgerton), good at robbing places. There is Craig (Sullivan Stapleton), who sells drugs and makes quite a living off of them. The oldest uncle, Pope (Ben Mendelsohn) is not in the home, he is in hiding and wanted by the police. And the youngest uncle is Darren (Luke Ford), who kind of just exists and does what he is told.
Somehow, with this noble family of thugs, a bad thing happens. Baz gets shot and killed by the police, for “no reason.” This pissed off the brothers. They wanted to get even and kill a couple cops. And using J to steal a car, they set up a trap and got their revenge.
Well, now J is involved with his family way deeper than he ever planned. Suddenly, a detective (Guy Pearce) is investigating them. They have a family lawyer (Dan Wyllie) telling him to not say a thing, everyone assuming he will be the weak link that gets them nailed.
J just wants to hang out with his girlfriend, Cole (Laura Wheelwright). And more importantly, he doesn’t want to die from crooked cops, angry family, or AIDS. He didn’t mention the last one, I am just assuming.
She has the grandma sweet guilt look down pat.
[Editor’s note: The ending of this review was lost hours after I originally wrote it. The ending of this review might be shit as I try to badly recreate it. It just sucks ya know?]
First and obvious question, was the film worth the wait? Yes, thank goodness, it was still an enjoyable film. Now I will admit, one of the main reasons I still wanted to watch it was because of Edgerton. I didn’t know who Edgerton was when I first tried to watch this movie because I hadn’t yet seen Warrior. But now that I know him, I want to see more of his movies. Little did I know his character would die in the first 15 minutes. Oh well.
Acting wise, everyone did a pretty good job. I am happy it focused a lot more on the drama aspects instead of an action movie. The first 45 minutes were a bit slower than I’d like, but the last hour was still captivating despite the lack of “pew pews.”
I am happy to report that I don’t regret buying the Blu-Ray. It adds some prestige to my shelf, as I don’t have many Australian films anyways.
3 out of 4.