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Customer Review

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars the truth, the half truth, and nothing like the truth, 20 July 2009
This review is from: Chopper [2000] [DVD] (DVD)
Sometimes, a film comes along that will make you laugh at the most inappropriate things. Well Chopper is just such a film, dealing with the life and times of notorious Aussie crim Mark "Chopper" Read.
When we first meet Chopper, he is serving a 14 year sentence for the attempted abduction of a judge in Melbourne's Pentridge prison. Re-united with some of his old cronies, Chopper re-ignites a war for control of his wing of the prison with the violent and impulsive stabbing of a rival prisoner. From there, Chopper becomes the victim of his own notoriety when he is stabbed by one of his supposed friends after his rivals put out a contract on him. Recovering from this brutal (and visually very shocking) stabbing, Chopper is eventually released back into society, where he becomes determined to make a name for himself as the most feared criminal in Australia. As he continues his relentless drive to achieve his dubious goals, Choppers ability to differentiate between the truth and his own wildly exaggerated self promotional tales begins to blur.
By turns shockingly violent, unbelievably grotesque and wickedly funny, the film is without a doubt driven by the amazing central performance of Eric Bana as Chopper. Bana makes Chopper a ruthless self aggrandizer, a shockingly violent thug, a man driven by violence but then consumed by guilt over his violent actions, and all the while a very charismatic individual. That Bana was a successful stand up comedian in his native Australia undoubtedly helps with the role, as Chopper is a man who as played by Bana is surprisingly witty and erudite. The violence is always brutal and often shocking in its immediacy, in particular some of the scenes inside Pentridge, but as inappropriate as it may be, some of the violence can be very, very funny. Music Video director Andrew Dominik keeps the film under control, giving it an arresting visual style that blends facts with Choppers fiction to stunning effect, leaving the viewer both amused and horrified by this larger than life character, whose sole motivation as described by one of his victims seems to be "Ya bash people for no reason, just to get a name for yourself".
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