The film breathes exhilarating life into its tired premise, thanks to some dazzling action choreography, stylish visuals and–most importantly–a vintage anti-hero performance from Keanu Reeves.
Roger Donaldson's "Sleeping Dogs," from New Zealand, is a very well made and acted movie about a time in the near future when New Zealand goes into a state of martial law, and underground groups form to fight against the dictatorship. Donaldson uses precise details of Hitler's takeover of Germany and plugs them into the New Zealand setting, and then he gives us a hero who wants to sit the fight out and is publicized by the government into being a symbol of opposition.
American troops are sent in to help the New Zealanders put down the "rebellion," and the rebels conduct a running guerilla battle against them.
The movie resembles "Z" and "The Battle of Algiers" in the way it combines ideology with fiercely-paced action. The biggest box-office hit of its time in New Zealand, it launched Donaldson's career. In 1982 he directed "Smash Palace," with its strong performance by Bruno Lawrence in the story of a man who grows desperate when he loses custody of his daughter. Then he moved on to Hollywood, becoming a successful director of thrillers and adventure movies.
This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a fr...
An appreciation of "1941" and interview with Bob Gale.
An appreciation of filmmaker, writer and actor L.M. "Kit" Carson, a singular talent.
A review of Paul Thomas Anderson's "Inherent Vice" from the 2014 New York Film Festival.