Quigley Down Under

1990

Quigley Down Under

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

60%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 15

73%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 20,678
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Movie Info

Tom Selleck stars as American cowboy archetype Matthew Quigley in Simon Wincer's outback western Quigley Down Under. Answering an advertisement placed by Australian cattle baron Elliot Marston (Alan Rickman) to come to the rugged and uncivilized Australian countryside and shoot dingoes, Quigley finds himself halfway around the world, only to find that Marston wants to exploit his talents as a sharpshooter in order to wipe out the Aborigine population. Taken aback by this square-jawed genocide, Quigley grabs Marston and hurls him through a window. Marston, who controls the region, sets out to hunt Quigley down. But helping him stay one step ahead of Marston is the addlebrained expatriate American trollop Crazy Cora (Laura San Giacomo) who insists that Quigley is her husband Roy.

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Critic Reviews for Quigley Down Under

All Critics (15) | Top Critics (2) | Fresh (9) | Rotten (6)

Audience Reviews for Quigley Down Under

  • Sep 05, 2015
    Tom Selleck's best Western has him fighting a racist landowner (Rickman) in Australia. There's loads of horseback riding, and shooting, and fighting and showdowns, the stuff and fabric of Westerns, sure, but what makes this work is the wonderful Laura San Giacomo as a woman traumatized by her past. And she steals a Western, that muy macho domain of lore, right in front of everyone.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Jun 16, 2014
    "Winchester P.I."! Some guy named Quigley sounds like he would have a moustache, and sure enough, the filmmakers, clearly realizing this, went all-out and got Mr. Tom Selleck himself, although that might be because when I say that Quigley sounds like the name of a moustache guy, I mean one of the twirly moustaches, because that is one cheesy name, and you're not about to call Tom Selleck cheesy, are you? I mean, seriously, save the fact that he's Tom Selleck, because the fact that he's in Australia is cool enough, and note that I said he's "in" Australia, rather than an Australian himself, because if they were trying to keep Selleck from looking cheesy, they weren't about to allow him to try an Australian accent. Actually, Selleck could ham up that accent all he wants, because once he stepped next to Alan Rickman, he would sound as though he's underplaying the accent, and Rickman isn't even Australian; he's just that thickly accented in general. You know, come to think of it, there really aren't a whole lot of Aussie's in this film's featured cast, so this "outback western" seems to be getting everything down, even down to showing up just in time to miss the peak of the 1980s' Aussie invasion. Well, it may have taken them until 1990, but I knew that the Australians were going to end up claiming America's western film industry, as much as they ruled the hard and alternative rock radios of the '80s, and I only wish that the result would be a better film. Now, don't get me wrong, the film is decent, but it's not "Tom Selleck in Australia" cool, for a number of reasons. First off, the film is pretty cheesy, as one might fear it would be, boasting some over-the-top set pieces and more than a few lame instances of comic relief, while even allowing storytelling itself to get a little corny. By that, I mean that the film is also narratively superficial, with thin characterization and some overblown conflicts to beget some glaring subtlety issues, as well as a predictability which is intense enough with storytelling conventions taken out of account. This outback western is a refreshing idea, but its interpretation if near-trite, with stereotypical character types behind a formulaic plot that doesn't even take its many, many tropes from especially engaging narrative formulas. This is more-or-less yet another inconsequential, extreme '90s Hollywood western, with a basic adventure story concept which is ultimately rather forgettable, and, quite frankly, would be more endearing if its execution was tighter. The film ultimately comes down to an approximate runtime of two hours, and considering that I just got down ranting about the thinness of the narrative, it should come as no surprise that the final product well outstays its welcome, for although entertainment value is never lost along the way, momentum really takes a beating the more storytelling drags its feet with filler and overblown material. There really is some solid potential here, but in theme, for when it comes to the molding of a film around such a theme, there's really nothing special here, thus, the final product falls flat as, at the very least, forgettable. With that said, as sheer filler, this film is well worth at least most of two hours, with color that extends from lively storytelling to even a lively soundtrack. Basil Poledouris' score is very formulaic, and yet, it's still among the strongest aspects of the film, with a colorful dynamicity that nonetheless rarely abates on a distinctly '90s sweep which captures a sense of adventure, whose immersion value is supplemented by art direction by Ian Gracie that distinguishes an Australian landscape, while doing a fine job of incorporating enough Old West elements to craft a unique environment. Like I said, the idea behind this important phase in the popularization of the "outback western", or, if you will, the "meat pie western" (Get it, because meat pies are popular in Australia, like how [u]spaghetti[/u] is popular in Italy? Western enthusiasts ought to get it) is unique, it's just that its execution isn't, but only in storytelling, as the art direction is endearing in its uniqueness, as surely as John Hill's script proves to be endearing, in spite of a lack of uniqueness. Cheesy, thin, overdrawn and all around formulaic, Hill's screenplay is lazy in a lot of ways, yet far from colorless on the whole, delivering on plenty of decent humor and lively set pieces, brought to life by direction that is just as lively. Simon Wincer delivers on a solid orchestration of action to punctuate a solid orchestration of subtle stylization and color which sustains color through and through, surprisingly never to let up. The film is inconsequential, as I've said time and again, but it's still a lot of fun, or at least charming, largely thanks to the charisma found on the screen. Acting material is generally flat, but the performances are still about as memorable as anything, whether they be by the typically chillingly charismatic Alan Rickman as a clichéd corrupt man of power, or by the sometimes surprisingly dramatically effective Laura San Giacomo as an emotionally and mentally unstable young woman, or by Tom Selleck as, well, himself, complete with dynamite charm and a solid protagonistic presence. There's a lot about this film that's pretty endearing, and while the final product is ultimately inconsequential, it is indeed entertaining enough to hold your attention just fine, even if it can't quite keep a firm grip on your memory. Overall, cheese is found in both fluffy filler and superficial material that isn't even either unique or meaty, yet still overdrawn in storytelling, until the final product falls as underwhelming, but hardly a waste of time to be forgotten, thanks to the sweeping score work, unique art direction, colorful writing and direction, and charming performances that make "Quigley Down Under" a thoroughly entertaining, if inconsequential outback western. 2.5/5 - Fair
    Cameron J Super Reviewer
  • Jan 11, 2012
    Quigley is an American sharpshooter moved to Australia. As in all Westerns, there is the good guy (Quigley) and the bad guy -- in this movie played by Alan Rickman. Their differences of opinion comes with the way Alan's character treats the local aborigines. As someone raised on Westerns featuring the American wild West, it is quite interesting to see a movie set in the Australian wilderness.
    Red L Super Reviewer
  • Nov 30, 2011
    Poor old Tom Selleck, always been the poor mans Harrison Ford, the second choice 'Indiana Jones' or the last option action man. On his side though are his manly looks, his chiselled features and that famous manly facial hair that ensured Selleck is a mans man despite his failure at being in any really big films. This long forgotten western is actually one of his best films in my opinion, the films title doesn't help its case for sure, it tends to give the impression of a silly comedy in the vain of 'Lightning Jack' with Paul Hogan but its nowhere close. Filmed on location in Australia instantly giving it that epic look with some awesome scenery and having a kind of 'Dances with Wolves-ish' plot really makes for a terrific adventure, yes there is some silly humour to raise a smile but it fits nicely and never really gets too daft to spoil. Rickman as usual is splendid in his role as the wickedly nasty English cad hunting Aboriginal folk for sport, sure his performance is really the same as his 'Sheriff of Nottingham' from 'Robin Hood Prince of Thieves' but it works just as well here (Reynolds and Costner must have seen this and wanted the same for 'Hood' :) ). The rest of the cast all perform well as immigrant Irish workers in the 1800's outback, everything looks great from sets to costume and real aborigine people seem to have been cast giving an even more realistic feel. A bit funny how Quigley never loses his customised rifle and everytime he's called to help people in danger he's conveniently set far away enabling him to use his fancy customised rifle to its full potential, its only at the end we do actually find out Quigley can look after himself without the rifle. Great light hearted fun adventure which was set for Eastwood or McQueen to star which gives you a good idea of what to expect. The film also has a nice emotional theme too which isn't too strong but enough to add some quality and raise it above most other more silly boys own adventures.
    Phil H Super Reviewer

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