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Sure, Crowe is unbelievable faultless as Hando, the leader of a gang of skinhead, Nazi worshipping, racist thugs. It is him that provides the film with its first taste of violence and it is mostly because of Crowe's portrayal that the film became so controversial.
However, the film is actually told from Jacqueline McKenzie's viewpoint. She plays Gabe, Hando's new girlfriend, and we see her submerged into this new violent world, where Asians are beaten up just for being there.
And that's basically where this tragic film's downfall really starts. When the gang beat up a couple of Asians, which leads on to a fully fledged street riot, events lead on to new events, and the only real thing that is imminenet is the eventual downfall of the thugs.
There is a lot of violence in this film, but it isn't very gory. Even though at times I was disgusted at the blatant racism and violence on screen I was too compelled to turn it off. It is a sledgehammer of a film, and thoguht provoking too.
Quite morally ambiguous, your not too sure where to stand. You shouldn't be on the side of the thugs, because they're racist. Yet Crowe has some real tender moments, meaning you can't hate him. You should feel sorry for the innocent Asians, but when they plot a backlash against the gang, you suddenly don't feel too sorry for them. It's dubious ground, and leaves the viewer slightly on edge - the best way to view a film of this type.
The storyline is the weakest point of this film. It is slightly predictable, and strained at some points.Read more ›