peteg's blog - noise - movies - 2024 06 02 ForceOfNature TheDry2

Force of Nature: The Dry 2 (2024)

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The things Eric Bana and Jacqueline McKenzie make me watch. The dire IMDB rating and the original instalment should've warned me off but I did want to see how much help Bana has been to Hugo Weaving in reviving local film industry. I suspect the answer is not a lot: Weaving seems to be more involved in larger international projects (with international distribution) whereas Bana's appear to be utterly provincial and involve co-writer/director Robert Connolly who seems to suffer from T.V. productionism.

The plot is simple: a group of corporate women (and separately men) go for a team-building exercise in the Dandenong Ranges (presented as the Victorian Alpine but really a suburb of Melbourne) and one of them doesn't come back with the others. Anna Torv, last seen by me in Mindhunter, was tasked with riling everyone up while also being everyone's victim. Deborra-Lee Furness (recently separated from Hugh Jackman) played her boss and Richard Roxburgh tried to find his inner David Wenham as the boss's domineering husband. Bana's job was to untangle the stories while McKenzie looked on; her character is quite superfluous and that's no way to treat an actor of her calibre.

The dialogue was really bad and the plot really sketchy. Which is a shame as the ingredients are decent enough.

Three stars of five from Luke Buckmaster. Two stars of four from Sheila O'Malley. The three-track was a real drag.