- Director:Craig Lahiff
- Cast:Roy Billing, Emma Booth, Jason Clarke, Vince Colosimo, David Lyons, Travis McMahon
- Release Date:June 07, 2012
- Distributor:Jump Street
- Running time:83 minutes
- Film Worth:$15.50
- FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth
Firmly sticking to its noir roots, this is a modest but well-crafted achievement which remains entertaining throughout.
When it comes to noir filmmaking, Australia has only a very small canon. Sure, we have plenty of masterful tales of crime and punishment (from Animal Kingdom and Chopper through to Ghosts Of The Civil Dead and The Hard Word), but when it comes to genre tropes like duped every-men, cunning femme fatales, stolen bags of money, double crosses, and complex plot machinations, our local filmmakers have pretty much come up empty. Now joining the slim ranks of films like Kiss Or Kill and Cactus is Swerve, the latest effort from director, Craig Lahiff (Black And White, Heaven's Burning). Like many noir films, the ambitions of Swerve are modest - it just wants to entertain and tell a good story - and if it were an American flick, it would likely surface as a surprisingly enjoyable, superior straight-to-DVD effort.
When reserved, unsuspecting Iraq veteran, Colin (the nicely slow burning David Lyons) witnesses a car accident on a quiet outback road, he is quickly and inexorably drawn into the orbit of smalltown cop, Frank (Jason Clarke delivers an impressive line in barely repressed anger and nastiness), and his sexy, self-possessed wife, Jina (the sizzling Emma Booth offers the film's most striking and original performance). With drug dealers, leering locals (including a smarmy Vince Colosimo) and a menacing criminal (Travis McMahon) also thrown into the mix, Swerve unspools slowly but surely, as Lahiff calmly cranks up the tension.
Despite plot holes and a feeling of over-arching familiarity (the film sticks to its noir roots like hard-caked blood), Swerve is never less than entertaining, and boasts more than a few tasty twists and turns. It's also a well-crafted and solidly made film that makes the fact that we can't really effectively support unassuming, low budget genre filmmaking in this country (like they can in the states) even more disappointing.