Dirty Deeds

on August 26, 2005 by Shlomo Schwartzberg
The American mob comes up against an Australian gangster in this '60s-set drama that tries for but falls short of the style and wit of "Sexy Beast." Bryan Brown has the Ben Kingsley role here as Barry Ryan, a tough, hardened Aussie criminal who won't let anyone get in his way as he vies for control of Sydney's gambling operations. But he hasn't reckoned on the Yanks, who send two of their own, including hit man Tony (John Goodman), to Australia to get their own piece of the pie--the biggest piece.

What happens next ought to be much more gripping and original than it is, especially with its fine cast, which also includes reliable actors Sam Neill as a crooked cop and Toni Collette as Barry's equally fearless wife. But director David Caesar doesn't show much flair for the material, and the story, which is hindered by a lame Vietman War subplot, is a predictable mish-mash, content to steal from any number of superior gangster flicks. Starring Bryan Brown, Toni Collette, John Goodman and Sam Neill. Directed and written by David Caesar. Produced by Bryan Brown and Debbie Balderstone. No distributor set. Drama. Not yet rated. Running time: 97 min.

Tags: gangster, Australia, period piece, police, Vietnam War, gambling, crime, Bryan Brown, Toni Collette, John Goodman, Sam Neill, David Caesar

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