It's the late '60s and Sydney crook Barry operates a poker machine scam with a detective on the payroll, while possessing a mistress as well as a wife. Loyalities become divided when Barry's nephew returns from Vietnam and a couple of Chicago muscle mobsters come to town seeking a slice of the pie.

By
Margaret Pomeranz

1 Jan 2009 - 12:00 AM  UPDATED 1 Jan 2009 - 12:00 AM

4
The visual style is exuberant, with skewed camera-work, very close close-ups and a saturated palette.

It?s Sydney1969. Barry, Bryan Brown, is happy with his little patch in Kings Cross ? he supplies and subsequently milks the pokies in clubs, he?s got the wife Sharon, Toni Collette at home with his son and a mistress Margaret, Kestie Morassi, on the side. And his new right hand man is his nephew Darcy, Sam Worthington, who?s just back from Vietnam. Things get a bit ropey from time to time with potential business rivals but nothing Barry can?t handle, he?s got the local cop Ray, Sam Neill, well and truly in his pocket. And Barry?s quite confident he can handle two Chicago hoods sent by the mafia to muscle in on his territory. He?s quite prepared to wine and dine Tony, John Goodman, and Sal, Felix Williamson. Rumoured to be based on a true story, or at least an actual photograph, the film really showcases David Caesar?s skill as a filmmaker. His visual style is exuberant, with skewed camera-work, very close close-ups and a saturated palette. Actually there?s a lot of Australian talent on display ? Felix Williamson is an eye-opener as Sal, just as convincing an American as the always fabulous John Goodman. Sam Worthington is on the road to major stardom from the look of him in this and newcomer Kestie Morassi is very impressive. Brown and Collette are the film?s ballast. Shades of Tarantino with the tone of the film which is spoof with violence and some other in your face material. Plotting and pace give rise to occasional questions but Dirty Deeds is mostly fun.

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Details

MA15+
1 hour 50 min

Genres