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Monday, November 5, 2012

Chopper Eric Bana Plays Famous Australian Criminal

Mark "Chopper" Read is a charismatic career criminal from Australia. His real-life criminal exploits as well has his penchant for telling terrific, if not embellished, stories about them has led to a series of books and some notoriety in pop culture.

In the movie "Chopper", Eric Bana plays Mark Read. Bana is almost unrecognizable in this film. He clearly bulks up for the role and transforms himself into an exceedingly violent, paranoid, yet bigger than life personality.

 I've heard the film Chopper has a cult-following and this doesn't surprise me. The film's bleak setting, violence and occasionally likable fringe-underworld, sociopath characters has all the formula of a cult-crime film.

This movie certainly has some memorable, if not shocking moments. Mark's means of getting transferred from the prison is stuff of legend.

Overall, I didn't find anything too fresh about the plot of the film, if there even is one. I feel as though I've seen it all before. Like most prison films, Read rises to the top by defeating the other gang but like most gangsters this just leads to others wanting to kill him and paranoia. Outside of prison he has trouble keeping his volatile personality under control not unlike Ben Kingsley's character in Sexy Beast or Joe Pesci's character in Goodfellas, leading to more alienation and paranoia.

That said, you could argue that Read's story is true and if that's the way it happened, that's the way it happened. This flick isn't so much about pulling off the big caper, it is about Read's flamboyant, rogue, split personality. If you have any interest in the exploits of the real-life Chopper, this movie is a good place to start.

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