If you’re into super macho, edge-of-your seat action movies and crime thrillers, the Australian film Son of a Gun was made for you. It is the feature debut of Australian writer/director Julius Avery, who has already won many awards for his short films, including a Cannes Jury Prize in 2008 for the short Jerrycan. Son of a Gun is due out October 16 in Australia. A U.S. release date hasn’t yet been announced, but it is sure to follow shortly afterward.
Fans of Ewan McGregor will probably be pleasantly surprised to see him play the bad guy, Brendan Lynch, in the new film, in which he protects a younger fellow inmate, JR (Brenton Thwaites), from the harsh realities of prison life. JR quickly learns that those who don’t have protection either need to toughen up or they will get beaten up. In return, Lynch requires him to come work for him upon his release from prison. This turns out to be a bigger debt than the 19-year-old was probably preparing himself for.
Once the two are both back on the outside, life becomes a rapid-fire succession of heists, gold and breaking the rules. JR goes from having a fear of guns to reveling in their protection and power. There’s a reason this movie has the word “gun” in the title, as there are a lot of them, from AR-15s to AK-47s and everything in between.
Everything seems to be going well for Australia’s public enemy No. 1 and his sidekick — but of course this doesn’t last forever. Obviously, a girl comes into the picture (Alicia Vikander). She’s beautiful, her name is Tasha, and she totally sees through JR’s façade of heist-plotting and gold-hunting for what he really is: a small-time criminal in way over his head. JR’s attraction to her is dangerous and could get in the way of his work — but what inexperienced, hormone-driven teenage male ever let that stop him?
Between the gunfights, high-speed chases, masked high-profile thievery and police car torching, viewers are in for a true psychological thriller. As JR gets more comfortable with his life of crime and planning major heists, he begins to suspect he is only a pawn in Lynch’s overall plan, being set up in a losing game of cat and mouse with the mentor he previously thought he could trust. Where’s the gold, anyway?
Something to Look Forward To
It will be interesting to see if this is the role that helps Thwaites keep advancing his acting career; after all, The Giver completely flopped and his role in other recent films put him more in the background than at the forefront of viewers’ minds. This movie, by contrast, will put him front and center, opposite a big name that everyone is familiar with already.
Australia keeps pumping out these crime thrillers and prison films and I say, keep ‘em coming. They’re exciting, fast-paced and full of fresh voices like Avery’s. When the American release date is finalized, I urge you to go. Until then, you’ll just have to settle for watching the trailer and speculating.