By
Filmink

26 May 2009 - 10:42 AM  UPDATED 26 Feb 2014 - 4:07 PM

Yes, another Aussie comedy. And like the many that have come before it, A Man’s Gotta Do unfortunately shapes up as another disappointment. It’s a pleasant enough diversion, but that’s part of the problem. And while A Man’s Gotta Do does have charm and thematic bite, it’s not presented with enough impact to really register.
Eddy (John Howard) is a fisherman by day and a toe cutting standover man by night. Rough, tough and totally overbearing, Eddy has no sense of the finer things in life, but deep down he just wants to provide for his wife (Rebecca Frith from Love Serenade) and daughter (Alyssa McClelland). Things hit a spin when infidelity, violence and Eddy’s new apprentice (Gyton Grantley) enter the picture.
A Man’s Gotta Do has a lot going for it. John Howard is brilliant (and brilliantly unrecognisable) as the bearish Eddy, all intimidation and gruff blunder, and he’s backed by an equally exciting supporting cast. Grantley and McClelland mark themselves as stars to watch, while Frith is equal parts brittle and hilarious.
Stylistically, the film is a shambles, staggering listlessly from moments of broad comedy to scenes of full-on family dysfunction, all to a highly discordant rhythm. The look of the film is flat and washed out, and writer/director Chris Kennedy really fails to give it any kind of kick or dramatic or comedic emphasis. He’s created a fistful of great characters, but then given them nowhere to go, and the film ultimately just peters out in a holding pattern.