Son Of A Gun


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Son Of A Gun
"It's a pity the plot doesn't offer more in the way of surprises"

Is there anything Ewan McGregor cannot do? Here he gets heavy which makes a change from romantic comedy and it suits him. The charm is still in evidence, but so is murderous intent.

As Brendan Lynch, the most notorious criminal in Oz, he's banged up for a life stretch. This does not please him and so he makes plans, the essential part of which is training a newbie for front line duty.

Copy picture

When 19-year-old JR (Brenton Thwaites) is about to be raped by the shower block gang Brendan sends his crew across to sort them out and afterwards offers the naive, good looking JR protection in exchange for helping him once he's served his time.

The "helping him" involves learning about guns and organising an aerial escape. Once achieved in a hail of bullets Brendan and JR become a team and the first thing on the agenda is a massive gold heist.

Brendan's not an Aussie and he's not Oirish either, despite the name. He's a Scot and when JR falls for an East European prostitute (Alicia Vikander), he warns him that chasing skirt could scupper their plans.

This is a film you have seen before. You know the moves, you sense the danger. It's not as exciting as Prison Break, but the pace never lags and the lags never stop for a contemplative discussion on the meaning of law and order.

McGregor avoids gratuitous violence. Brendan is not to be trusted, it's true, but he doesn't approve of torture. He's a loner and, as such, fearful of commitment. When a mate is killed during a fire fight, he doesn't shed a tear. He burns the body and sends money to his widow.

Thwaites is still in his early twenties. He portrays JR's sensitivity with subtlety and never hangs about like a damp rag. He understands the confusion of finding his character in an impossible situation. He sees the girl and the girl sees him. That, at least, is real. Or is it? Will something come of this? Are they using each other? Is survival a reality?

To ask questions means you care. It's a pity the plot doesn't offer more in the way of surprises.

Reviewed on: 28 Nov 2014
Share this with others on...
Son Of A Gun packshot
Heist thriller about a tough young hoodlum who teams up with a ruthless con and finds himself attracted to a smart, street-savvy young woman.
Amazon link

Director: Julius Avery

Writer: Julius Avery, based on the novel by John Collee

Starring: Brenton Thwaites, Ewan McGregor, Alicia Vikander, Damon Herriman, Matt Nable, Nash Edgerton, Jacek Koman, Jesse McGinn, Eddie Baroo, Tom Budge, Rick Tonna, Tammie West, Isaac Money, Ben Weirheim, Warwick Sadler

Year: 2014

Runtime: 108 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: Australia


London 2014

Search database:

Related Articles:

Gold fever