The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part
The Walking Dead
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No consensus yet.
All Critics (12)
| Top Critics (4)
| Fresh (6)
| Rotten (6)
It's a serviceable Aussie Western set circa 1864, one that moves at a good clip despite being more than two hours long.
Holmes' unfocused screenplay makes clear that his subject was an honorable thief (Hall never took a life), but the writer-director never makes any of it matter.
Often the word "legend" in a film title can be a fairly good indicator that you're not in for a breezy frolic, but that still doesn't prepare you for the ponderously protracted slog that is "The Legend of Ben Hall."
There's a story here somewhere but I suspect the nub of it is at the beginning of Hall's bushranging career, rather than the end. Whatever the truth of it, Holmes is too tentative in his attempts to tease it out.
The film is a rich, if flawed, portrait of a haunted man and a romantic tribute to the Australian bush as a mirage of freedom.
The Legend of Ben Hall doesn't offer much, especially those not well-versed on legendary Australian bushrangers. It's probably a good idea just to skip this one.
As a celebration of a life lived on its own terms, it's a bit unappetizing, trying to make a hero out of a man who spent the majority of his life making trouble for others.
The long-neglected tale of bushranger Ben Hall - there was an ABC TV series way back in 1975 - receives a pretty good going over in this impressive, ambitious, incident-packed feature from writer/director Matthew Holmes.
As portrayed by Jack Martin, the bushranger is an imposing figure, tall craggy, blue-eyed and charming when he wants to be. But his motivations, except for the fact he wants his son back, remain sketchy.
This is far too long (half an hour could have easily been trimmed) and the actors aren't always up to it, and yet it's still worth persevering with, right down to the you-saw-it-coming, sub-Bonnie And Clyde ending.
Writer/director Matthew Holmes steers and controls the film's tone with a single minded focus that serves the film well, appealing to the serious historian and invested film lover
...an impressive feature bold in its sense of ambition and rich with character-driven intimacy.
I was a little shocked that this is the direction they chose with this film. It feels like an underdeveloped story that couldn't decide if they wanted a period film or a character study, it falls flat in the middle. The problem I had with the film was the lack of realism, in a day and age where the stage has been set by The Unforgiven, True Grit and The Assassination of Jesse James, you can't provide a one dimensional story like this. The creative team can't seem to find common ground, they want to paint him as a flawed anti hero but they want us to like him and care about his demise. There was a good film here but a lack of character focus and inexperienced actors can't hold the film together. The film has a great scope and I think this is a missed opportunity, there is talent here and I will watch another film should they take another chance. 26-08-2017.
My experience watching this 'The Legend of Ben Hall' was nothing short of being 'surreal'. Never did I think I'd see a film that had so many years of development, be incredibly authentic, insightful and entertaining for an Australian Bushranger themed film. It was such a superb effort that paid off big time! hard for me to even believe 2 years after contributing to the film's crowed funding campaign, I'd finally see a film I think has the great potential to be a modern classic. One thing for certain to really describe this film is that it's one if not the 'Finest Bush Western' of modern Australian Cinema made to date, as well as the most definitive film on based on the real life historical outlaw; Ben Hall. It's a rip-roaring yarn centered on the last 9 months of Ben Hall's life, having relaxed the life of an outlaw for a while decides to come back with his fellow gang mate in an attempt to flee Australia for California. The film's greatest strengths lie in the effort writer/director Matthew Holmes has brought to adapting history to the big screen. The writing is top notch able to bring insight and conflict to the title character (played superbly by Jack Martin), a man who's walked a dark path as being a criminal, there's a genuine sense at how his reputation precedes him. Other characters like Johnny Gilbert and John Dunn are also incredible supporting players as are all the other minor roles faithfully brought from the history books. The aesthetics, costumes and cinematography are also top notch, making the period setting of Colonial Australian bush stand out as it's own landscape full of wonder and adventure. Overall I could go on for longer, The Legend of Ben Hall is the best Australian film I've seen all year, it's a superb effort that takes viewers back in time to witness a piece of history they might of never known, it also has exciting action and insightful compelling drama that make it a film for all Australians to see as this is how our history should be presented and told.
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