Saturday, February 04, 2006


Title: Chopper (2000)
Dir: Andrew Dominik
Tagline: Never let the truth get in the way of a good yarn.
Rating: ***** out of 5 stars

If you read my review of Munich, you may recall me raving about Eric Bana. Well as far as acting goes, that performance has got NOTHING on Chopper. The hype is accurate - Bana is freakin amazing in this movie. Scratch that, BRILLIANT.

Clearly his skills at impressions (from his comedy career) paid off in the dramatic world, too. I watched videos of the real Mark "Chopper" Read and it is uncanny how perfectly Bana portrayed him. But even if you never see the real guy, you'll love watching Bana's performance. He slides so easily between a sympathetic everyman and a cold-hearted monster.

The movie shows Chopper's early days in prison, how he adjusts to life afterwards, and all his media whoredom along the way. The scenes of young Chopper in prison are my favorite scenes of the film, although Bana's later transformation into the older, fatter Chopper is astounding.

The film had more violence and black humor than I expected, which is very, very good. The directing is also pretty original and interesting. Overall, it is a good film, but Bana is what really sets it apart. He's such a delight to watch in this. Just when you feel bad for the character, he does something that completely repulses you. He is an enigma, and endlessly entertaining.