A stilted beginning hits its stride when the characters leave the township and go bush. Some beautiful scenic cinematography and a grand score bring out the majesty of the country. As a South African immigrant, Ray Winstone carries the film and, whilst his accent veers from Boer to Brixton, he’s a rock of a presence. Alongside him, Temuera Morrison gets to clash fists as a wrongly accused Maori seaman, playing on his comic inclinations but channelling some heart, too.
Downsides are that the screenplay is a little on-the-nose and thematic ideas that attempt to parallel the plights of Winstone’s Boer War veteran and Morrison’s ‘noble savage’ are a bit heavy-handed. The film feels quite lengthy, even though it isn’t, because watching two men follow each around the wilderness loses its appeal before too long. It’s this relative lack of action, pared with simplistic message-movie sentiments, that hampers what in any other case is a solid local movie. Hide