Reviewed byMissTRiousVote: 9/10/10
"Two Hands" is a good addition to the Australian Film Catalogue.
It is that curious mix of real life, surreal life, comedy, tragedy and lovethe Australians have developed on their own.
Heath Ledger is basically a good if naive guy. Wanting to get on he falls inwith a local "Big" Man Pando (Bryan Brown). But at the very moment he sets afirst toe on the dark path to crime he meets Alex (Rose Byrne). Here is thecause of the error to change his life in ways unexpected. After getting onthe wrong side of Pando accidentally, things get very bad very quickly andif not for a little otherworldly help this would have been a short sad film.Yes, Jimmy learns a few lessons in life and no one escapes uninjured in oneway or another but at the end of it has a feel good feel to it. Althoughthere is a lawless theme through the story, it is not glorified and helps toshow how destructive crime can be on normal lives.
Heath Ledger is excellent as Jimmy, innocent and savvy at the same time,Rose is hypnotic as Alex and Bryan is marvellous as usual. This is a smallensemble of characters are believable and I found myself caring about thegood guys and disliking the baddies.
This DVD is usually in the cheap aisle so I would recommend adding it tooyour DVD collection, it would be money well spent.
8 out of 10
Reviewed bylost-in-limboVote: 8/10/10
Jimmy (Heath Ledger) is given a simple job by Pando (Bryan Brown) aunderworld kingpin to deliver money to a particular address, but whenno one answers the door Jimmy decides to take a dip at the beach topass some time, but he notices that his clothes on the sand have beenmessed up and the 10 grand is gone. Jimmy rings Pando to tell him theproblem, but he doesn't want to hear it. Pando and his boys try theirbest to locate Jimmy, meaning no more Jimmy if they get their hands onhim. So now Jimmy goes into hiding to organise a bank robbery to getPando's money back. Also throughout this mess he meets the innocentlysweet Alex (Rose Byrne) and together they're in for one hell of a ridethrough Sydney's King Cross.
"Two Hands" is simply an engrossing pick-me-up film that's brisk,exhilarating and incredibly fresh. What you got here is pretty much anurban gangster film with a seedy backdrop and in-your-face violence what, how's that fresh you ask? Well, because it takes us into theunderworld where the Australian culture shines with criminals wearingthongs (flip flops) and footy shorts, done up cars and a can of beer inthe hand and don't forgot the Australian sense of humour, dry andsarcastic. You can say it owes a lot to the likes of "Pulp Fiction","Goodfellas" (a fave of mine) and "Lock, stock and two smoking barrels"for its inspiration, but for me it still stands on its own. The filmhas real mixture of light-hearted moments, but also a mean streak to itwith some unexpected shocks and black humour that can actually bedisturbing. You just don't know what's coming and it has a nice touchof snappy irony (especially the ending) and great timing with itshumour. One scene involving a bank robbery will have you in stitches, Iguarantee you. The plot's outline is really a coming to age story (orabout the road not taken), with a punching love tale added and then thegangster element to finish it off. Most of the sub-plots were cleverlyconstructed and interlocked, well maybe it could've gone without thesupernatural element involving Jimmy's dead brother, but in the overallcontext the diverse plot seems to all click together. Intense, naturaland crisp dialogue filled the outrageously colourful script, with quickjabs of Aussie slang/twang - I'm fair dinkum!
What truly made the film was that of Bryan Brown's performance ofPando. He just gave his character such a deviously charismatic/nastypersona that when he wasn't on screen his presence was still felt. Hegave his character two sides - one being a prick, but the other side issuch a good bloke. A young Rose Byrne glows with her nervouslysweet/quirky character Alex. She looked radially gorgeous and added abubbly personality. Then you got Heath Ledger who fit's the buck as thenaive Jimmy. Great supporting cast involved with the likes of SusiePorter, Tom Long, David Field, Steve Vidler and Steve Le Marquand. Suchraw performances are achieved and from that you get riveting, fun andbelievable characters. Pumping rock soundtrack bursting at the seamswith the likes of Powderfinger and Alex Lloyd provide a cool vibe. Alsobeing shot on location in Sydney's King Cross really helped it stickout by holding a life of its own and showing the Australian way oflife. Gliding camera tricks captured the city's backdrop superbly,especially the piercing nightlife. This was a film that when it ended Iwas totally satisfied with what I got. Overall, a slickly paced crimethriller that achieves what it intended to do... a fun, clever andcrazy roller coaster ride of thrills and excitement.
I say, it's a successful Aussie take on "Lock, Stock and Two smokingbarrels" by director/writer Gregor Jordan in his debut film. If youcome across it, don't hesitate to it give it a go.
Reviewed byflingebuntVote: 8/10/10
The inspiration for this film was the fact that American Gangsters arewell dresses, but the Aussies, well when you might kill a guy as soonas look at the blighter, then you can dress as badly as you want andpeople won't criticize you.
Jimmy is fighter, an illegal boxer, sometimes bouncer and is offeredwork by Pando, the local gangster boss in the cross (That is,Australia's notorious Kings Cross District, not the Cross of Londonfame as many a British backpacker finds out the hard way).
Due to feelings of love he stuffs up a job, loses a lot of money andhas to get it to Pando before Pando and his heavies can kill him.
Lots of dark humour, interesting action, revelations about theAustralia's underside and human nature. It is very centred in theAustralian nature and explores the nature of Australian criminals(versus the American and British ones).
One problem is that each of the elements of the story don't have enoughsubstance and depth, but it is a painting with broad strokes thatcovers a lot of area not covered previously, so as an overall packageit is worthwhile.
Team it up with "Chopper" and "Dirty Deeds" for your Aussie Crime festor "Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" and "Miller's Crossing" for anInternational falling short of the criminal gangs fest.
By the way, Bryan Brown is a great actor who has just done a hugenumber of really bad movies. Here is one of his great movies.
A 19 year old (Heath Ledger) finds himself in debt to a local gangster (Bryan Brown) when some gang loot disappears and sets him on the run from thugs. Meanwhile two street kids start a shopping spree when they find the missing money. Rose Byrne co-stars as a country girl, who Ledger starts a romance on his trip.