Sunday, October 27, 2013

Red Hill (2010)

Red HillNew jobs can be murder.

Shane (Ryan Kwanten) and Alice (Claire van der Boom) move to the small town of Red Hill seeking a quiet existence.

As Shane readies for his first day at the cop shop, he can’t locate his gun. Rut-ro. This tells us that Shane will need it. His reception at work is icy at best.

He’s assigned to an investigation no one else wants to cover as it’s deemed irrelevant. Shane finds a mortally wounded horse and whatever got to it doesn’t look like the usual beat. Before Shane can act further, Red Hill is paralyzed by prison escapee Jimmy Conway (Tommy Lewis), an alleged wife and cop killer. Conway goes on a killing rampage that targets all of the Red Hill police department.

Men square off, puff out like peacocks, shoot one another, crash cars. Newby Shane is looking to find his place. Head cop Bill (Steve Bisley) is gruff, brusque. His character overdoes it. Conway is a badass. He resembles a robotic-Matrix morphing of John Oates. He can Snipe, Ninja and Hulk it up. And, even though he’s shooting the supposed good guys, they are creeps and you find yourself rooting for Conway. He hasn’t uttered a word. His determination to decimate has a vengeful flavor that makes you wonder if he wasn’t wronged.

Red Hill is a predictable Western. It’s good versus evil. Serpico in small town Australia? Not quite. True Blood fans will recognize Kwanten as Jason Stackhouse. I won’t re-watch Red Hill but Kwanten and Lewis carry it. The subplot feels forced but in the end, they round back in an unexpected finale.

Writer/director: Patrick Hughes

Country: Australia

Genre: Thriller

Run time: 95 minutes

Scale: 3