Monday 20 May 2024

Movie Review: Swerve (2011)

Genre: Neo-Noir Crime Thriller  
Director: Craig Lahiff  
Starring: Jason Clarke, Emma Booth, David Lyons  
Running Time: 87 minutes  

Synopsis: In rural Australia, Colin (David Lyons) is on a long drive to a job interview when he comes across a road accident involving one dead man, a briefcase full of cash, and the uninjured Jina (Emma Booth). Colin drives Jina back to her home in the small town of Neverest and hands the briefcase to local law officer Frank (Jason Clarke), who also happens to be Jina's husband. Colin is drawn into a web of intrigue involving the troubled couple, ruthless criminal Charlie (Travis McMahon), and Jina's boss Sam (Vince Colosimo).

What Works Well: This is a self-aware neo-noir with a conniving femme fatale, an ill-gotten prize, traces of humour, and complicated love-lust-violence relationships ensnaring characters stifled in the middle of nowhere. Dark histories of malevolence and less complicated present-day greed fuel the plot, while director Craig Lahiff makes excellent use of sun soaked desert vistas and efficiently concludes proceedings within a snappy running time.

What Does Not Work As Well: Most of the plot twists and character actions serve the convenience of the script at the expense of logic. Characters wake up from the dead and escape the inescapable, while multiple murders are uninvestigated and cars fix themselves. By the halfway mark, an anything-goes attitude starts to dominate, threatening fundamental underpinnings.

Conclusion: The curves are crafty but also contrived.

All Ace Black Movie Blog reviews are here.

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