The fact that Chopper is so engrossing and effective stems from the powerful performance of Eric Bana.
Chopper plays like a nonfuturistic A Clockwork Orange.
It's a great style, it's a fabulous performance, but it never quite finds what it's searching for.
| Original Score: 3/5
You cannot look away from him. The performance is so . . . strange.
| Original Score: 3/4
The ways Read twists and embellishes the truth become progressively less interesting.
Bana radiates the sort of warped charisma that explains how an ultraviolent convict could capture the public's imagination.
Like a lot of video-game violence, much of Chopper is meant to be perversely funny. But it's a different kind of perversely funny.
[Read's] unpredictability lends Chopper considerable suspense.
Bana's gift -- and his triumph -- is that he makes us somehow care about this magnetic monster, without ever letting us feel as if we've figured him out.
Compelling and funny even when it is indiscriminately splattering blood.
A stylish, arresting, disturbing film.
It's Eric Bana ... who justifies our interest with a dazzling performance of blunt humor, unpredictability and an edge of menace.
Dominik's direction is fresh and lively, and the camerawork is exceptional.
Dominik doesn't glamorize or glorify Chopper, but his film contributes to making Mark Brandon Read as mythical an Australian rogue as Ned Kelly.
| Original Score: 4/5
Too senseless and contrived to succeed as sociopathic comic opera, let alone as coherent character study.
| Original Score: C-
For every viewer who is revolted, at least as many will probably be intrigued, if not charmed. For Chopper is nothing if not fearless.
A vivid portrait.
The excitement and tension comes from never knowing when Chopper is really going to lose it.
Dominik's perspective makes it a lot less incriminating to watch the film.
With his metal teeth and deformed satyr-like ears, Chopper is a spectacular lowlife clown.