Australia is a movie in the tradition of Gone With The Wind or to compare it to something more recent: Titanic and Pearl Harbor. A movie in which fictional characters deal are surrounded by real-life events. Like in Pearl Harbor where the Japanese tried to bomb a love triangle this movie the same Japanese are bombing a not your average family consisting of a Lady, a drover and a creamy; half aboriginal, half white kid. Luckily for us this movie is better than the disaster that was Pearl Harbor. Crikey, we’re going down under!
The movie consists of two parts that basically could be released as two separate films. The first part is an adventurous love story in which a herd of cows must be transferred through the rough outback while dealing with sabotage from the competition. The second part is about the couple from the first part dealing with the attacks by Japan and a missing child. The movie starts off on a light note with lots of intentional humor and it really made me laugh from time to time, especially the kangaroo scene. The first half is OK and deals with certain aspects of the Australian history with white men knocking up Aboriginal women. If they had made this segment 15 minutes longer you would get a good fun adventure, but director Baz Luhrmann chose to tell another story. What would be an epilogue is now a set-up for another chapter in the lives of these people. The Japanese attack Australia and the bad guy from the first half kills off his boss and takes his place. This chapter goes for a more psychological approach as the entire “family” is torn apart by various circumstances.
The character of Hugh Jackman is named Drover, which is also his job; a drover named Drover. That reminded me of the Uwe Boll fantasy “In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale” in which Jason Statham plays a farmer named Farmer. Makes me wish my name was Web-designer; Hello, I’m a web-designer and my name is Web-designer.
As a whole Australia is decent entertainment, but also rather uneven. Maybe released as two separate longer films the separate installments would be better. The acting is top notch, but that’s to be expected with Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman as the leads. I was impressed by the little boy Nullah, played by Brandon Walters. In a lot of cases kids in movies come off too wise for their age. Not so here. This kid carries a large part of the movie and does so with seemingly ease.
Australia is a fine movie but a tad too long. If it was trimmed down a bit or made in two seperate movies it would’ve been stronger. We do get some solid entertainment with a history lesson woven in and as an extra the ladies get shirtless Hugh Jackman. Us males have to do with the botoxed forehead of ms Kidman.