ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

DVD review: Animal Kingdom

Updated on March 18, 2013
You see, eating spinach can make you stronger.
You see, eating spinach can make you stronger.

Animal Kingdom (15) 2 booms

It's difficult to associate the land down under with crime - ones not committed by dingoes that is. Crocodile Dundee is probably to blame for that, as are the neighbourly soaps that are exported from that part of the world. David Michôd's first feature however (which he also wrote) brings a darker side of an Australian suburban city to the screen.

After having his mother die of a drug overdose, 17 year-old Joshua 'J' Cody (James Frecheville) contacts his estranged grandmother (Jacki Weaver) and asks if he can stay with her. She's more than happy to bring him into the heart of her family, along with her three doting sons.

It doesn't take J long to realise that his uncles are involved in criminal activity, but as they're the only family he's got he doesn't mind. When one of the brothers gets murdered, by the police no less, the family decide to take revenge.

In doing so, they get J involved; they get him to steal the car they use for the crime. But as you would expect, the police don't take kindly to having their own murdered, and soon narrow in on the family. With the culprits in custody, Sgt Leckie (Guy Pearce) interviews J to find out what he knows. Even though he doesn't say much, he says enough for Leckie to know he's got his men.

Leckie is prepared to put J into the Witness Protection Programme, but J is wary of his offer of protection as well as his family's response. They may be his family, but he still finds himself in a position of knowing just which side to trust.

Although it's nice to see an Australian film tackle a crime drama, this one goes about it the wrong way. Its story comes away at the seams within Michôd's script. At one point he has one of the brothers, the eldest, in hiding from the police, with a police car outside the family home day and night in wait for him. In the second half of the film, the character is coming and going from the house as he pleases. Had the police suddenly changed their minds? Or perhaps they decided to just let him off? Who knows, certainly not the audience.

Another example is who is killing who exactly, and more importantly, why? There's far too much vagueness in who is killing who off; the brother's death is seemingly caused by a trigger happy copper, but we have no idea as to the reason behind the police deciding to start killing off criminals.

It doesn't help that the performances make Ozzie soap actors look like they're making HBO quality dramas. Some could be kind in saying that they're coming from a natural style of acting, but don't believe a word of it, as the overall quality on display is very poor indeed.

If you want to see a gritty Australian take on crime, then look no further than the critically-acclaimed series Underbelly, which was everything this film should have been and more. The only shocks you'll find watching this is how bad it really is.

2 booms

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)