Cut Australia in Two

The movie that is. Last night I was dragged by happily accompanying my spouse to see Australia, the new epic tourism commercial motion picture. Thanks to a past association with Hugh Jackman we have to see all of his movies. That is fine for X-Men but I’d rather have some negotiating power for others.

That said, save for the length, it was actually an enjoyable movie. It is not just cliched but brilliantly cliched. The actors are all iconic Australians, the plot is a mixture of almost every Australian movie for the last fifty years and the dialogue — oh, the dialogue — is so cornily imagined that it will leave you in stitches. The notion that you can view this movie as anything other than an intended, mostly comedic, homage to Austrlaian film-making is ludicrous. That is precisely why it will play well in Australia, maybe England but nowhere else. You have had to have been subjected to too much of Australia’s popular culture and historic past to appreciate it.

But it is too long. Indeed, half way through you would be quite satisfied if it just ended; even before you got to sit back and see an Australian city bombed to smithereens for a change. It should have been a TV mini-series. You watch one night and return the next to see what happens next. Doing it back to back is too much.

So I recommend that you wait for the DVD and watch it over two separate nights. I’m sure it will be better appreciated that way.

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