Mark "Chopper" Reid is not a pleasant fellow. Based on his bestselling autobiographical offerings, this movie explores the confused, violent and yet somehow endearing man who became one of Australia's most notorious criminals. Imprisoned as a young man, Mark Reid attempts to become a major underworld figure, ruthless and bloodthirsty. Yet, while his actions fit this self-made image, something in his persona prevents it from engulfing him entirely. Would a ruthless murderer shoot a man and then immediately apologize and take him to hospital? The film covers all aspects of his life, from his initial incarceration, through his single-handed attempts to rid the streets of other criminals, to his return to jail and the beginnings of his fame as an author. First time writer/director Andrew Dominik presents a gritty film which takes the viewer on an emotional rollercoaster that barely gives you time to stop laughing before being confronted with a scene of sickening violence and brutality. One of the reasons why this works as well as it does is the casting - Eric Bana is incredible as Chopper - totally believable in all his manifestations: as a simple Aussie bloke just trying to get by, as an interred prisoner trying to survive, and as a violent criminal.
This is not a pleasant movie in any sense of the word. But it is highly amusing and entertaining for those not easily offended by violence or by the controvery that might surround the "glorification" on film of a convicted criminal. Well worth seeing.