You could be forgiven for thinking this is a Clint Eastwood style period set western and that's exactly what I thought it was upon seeing the poster design and film title, in fact its set in the present day and is more of a homage to westerns. Being set in the arrid merciless Aussie outback of course does make it more of cowboy than cop thriller for sure.
The film is pretty unoriginal lets be honest about it, the layout and events are nothing new and do smell strongly of certain saddle bound Eastwood adventures but again..lets be honest here, its a damn good Aussie version of certain saddle bound Eastwood adventures. Beating around no bushes this is a strong violent retribution/revenge thriller that almost kinda boarders on 'The Terminator' in some building and street sequences with its lightless settings, strong shadows and mute anti hero killer.
From the start you know something is amiss with the local police force and their gruff leader 'Old Bill', you can kinda tell what will happen really but it doesn't detract from the fun of the film one bit. The cast are unknown to me but pretty big in Oz. Bisley as 'Old Bill' is perfect and really comes across well as the hardened no nonsense chief whilst Lewis is great as the mute aboriginal gunman who at first is intimidating, almost robotic like in his swift killings, but you know all is not as it seems.
The lead Kwanten does sort of over act towards the finale as he goes from being a regular guy to a strong stern voiced gunman brewing over with cliches but you feel the tenseness of the finale and you find yourself glued to the screen. Nothing really new to the table here but the whole film looks good and is well acted with a trusted source in the nasty revenge genre to always get the juices flowing, maybe some more nastiness to really bring home the need for revenge was needed though.
Highly recommended and much better fair than the usual over hyped glossy Hollywood guff that was 'No Country for Old Men', this is gritty and more down to earth with realistic characters. The Oz factor of course helps this hugely. Still not so sure what the panther subplot was all about though, why was it needed? oh well.