peteg's blog - noise - movies - 2024 04 28 LoneWolf

Lone Wolf (2023)

/noise/movies | Link

Domestic (t)errorism in Melbourne, July 2021 — which Wikipedia suggests was a time of lockdowns. The whole thing is so bad, so completely flawed. It's exactly what Brophy meant by Australian movies having TV production values. Hugo Weaving continues his heroic one-man project of reviving Australian cinema (c.f. The Royal Hotel etc.); I just wish he'd be more discerning in his choice of vehicles.

Righto, the framing conceit is that this is found footage which of course the makers cannot sustain for more than a few minutes. It's notionally based on Joseph Conrad's The Secret Agent (which I started and didn't get far into). The story is set in the tawdry, archaic fringes of sex shops, anarchists and huge, cheap Melbourne flats. The idea is to co-opt the local malcontents into committing a "victimless atrocity" that will improve the reelection prospects of the minister (Weaving). (The most inventive thing here is the choice of target, putting me in mind of Jarett Kobek's far superior Atta.) The first act is a self-admitted humdrum domestic drama while the second slides into a pure mess. Were they aiming for The Interview?

The central flaw was a mediocre script with poor dialogue that elicited poor performances from everyone. There's a dumbness to the main characters which made it hard to care what happened; it's a crass dumbness, not a comedic one like in Chris Morris's Four Lions or a knowing one like in The Castle. One has to feel for Stephen Curry whose best (or even decent) roles are long gone now. And the concluding scenes, well, they show a Tennant Creek you've never seen before.

Wendy Ide must've watched something else. None of the characters are sympathetic! I got the pointer from Chris Abrahams and Melanie Oxley who did some soundtrack work. It was funded by Screen Australia and the MIFF Premiere Fund. One can only hope that Albo's industry policy picks better winners.