Ned Kelly (8/10 Rating)
Released March 26, 2003
For rent/purchase on all major platforms.
Genre: Action, Adventure, Biography, Crime, History, Romance, Western
R: Violence and Brief Nudity
Based on the Australian outlaw, Ned Kelly tells the story of a wrongly accused man who becomes the number-one enemy of the Victorian government. From some very mild research, it does seem to include some historical accuracy, but of course plenty is dramatized, and the film focuses on a hero as opposed to the criminal from historical accounts. I really love this movie. For me, it sits right up there with films like Tombstone, Young Guns, Braveheart, and Gladiator. It may lack the epic spectacle and armies of the latter two, but the rest is all there: the tale of an innocent man wronged by the powers of the time, fighting back against tyrants, joining a small brotherhood in the pursuit of justice, etc. The acting is award worthy, cinematography compelling, and the story never gets unbelievable or uninteresting. The ending is pretty epic in itself and while a lot of the elements are created for the film, the historical facts included are pretty awesome. I won’t give anything away, but the final “outfit” Heath Ledger dons is one of the most accurate pieces of the movie. It is said that he tried on the real suit, and it fit perfectly, but you’ll see what I mean. Part Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, part Robin Hood, if this is a movie you missed, I highly recommend giving it a watch. Heath Ledger is as good as ever. Orlando Bloom is utilized perfectly as the charming ladies’ man sidekick. Geoffrey Rush is that rare “villain” who manages to garner both hatred and respect at the same time. Joel Edgerton, Naomi Watts, and a handful of other recognizable actors fill out the impressive cast. You’ll be rooting for the “bad guys” from the start and by the end researching the real Ned Kelly.
Also check out: Dreamcatcher (5/10), The Hunted (7/10), Spun (7/10) (follow @jlucia85 for these reviews and more)