By: Henry J. Fromage Two Beers) –
If you aren’t a Hollywood expert, it might surprise you how many stars originally came from The Land Down Under. Russell Crowe, Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Cate Blanchett, Naomi Watts, Isla Fisher, all those Hemsworths, shit even Errol Flynn… the list is staggering.
Chopper is the debut of two more notable Aussies, auteur director Andrew Dominik (Killing Them Softly) and Eric Bana (in a lead role, that is).
Chopper stars Bana as the title character, who narrates his larger than life true story from prison, his on-again, off-again home when he’s not out committing crimes and /or doling out his singular brand of charismatic and lethal vigilante justice that made him a media star in Australia. Needless to say, it’s a role that completely different than anything you’ve seen him in.
Yep, same guy.
This movie rests entirely on Bana’s shoulders, and the only question I had after seeing his performance was “why didn’t he become as big as Crowe or Jackman? It’s a ferocious, human, brutal, hilarious, unpredictable, fucking Terminator of a character and a performance, and reminded more than anything of Tom Hardy’s star-making turn in Bronson. If Hardy didn’t crib some notes from Bana on this, I’d be floored.
The nudity, though, was all him
Chopper and Bana’s interpretation of him is hard to tear your eyes away from, and while the film can be accused of being largely plotless, you don’t feel its absence at all. This is a portrait of a fascinating creature whose natural habitat is prison, but it’s when he’s let loose on society that the film really comes alive.
Right down to the look, he’s Julian’s evil twin. No Ricky to be found, though
The incredibly inventive Andrew Dominik we know and love doesn’t really show up until the film’s last third, but that last act is full of bloody, bravura style with a decent helping of Dominik’s expert hand at slow-motion, leading up to a bugnuts finale including a multiple-perspectives murder and even a musical interlude. It’s bizarre, in questionable taste, and oh-so-beautiful.
Besides Dominik being a bit muted at first, I guess I’ll assign an ice-cold Fosters to the film’s hardcore Aussie accents, which take about ten minutes to get in the swing of. If you can’t get a copy with subtitles, perhaps that beer will put you on the same wavelength.
This little-seen gem introduced the world to Andrew Dominik and Eric Bana, and that fact alone makes it a must-see.
Take a Drink: for every quality Aussie insult
Take a Drink: every time Chopper bleeds like a stuck pig
Take a Drink: every time Chopper talks shit
Do a Shot: every time he backs it up