Directed by Andrew Dominik
Written by Andrew Dominik based on the book by Mark (Chopper) Read
One of these movies I don’t think would be on an international best 500 movies list, but this is an Australian film and therefore it is. I guess it’s not so surprising given the number of movies on this list about crime and violence? So it starts with a bit of character colour, Chopper making fun of himself and the person detracting him on TV and then it just goes to a bit of totally senseless violence between him and another inmate. Like, brutal, bloody, violence.
There are some astoundingly good moustaches in this movie though, especially on the police in the start of the movie.
First half hour has way more stabbings than I had expected. Really just… a whole lot of stabbings and homoerotic ones at that.. like, clutching onto each other with the mouths so close and what the fuck is this movie? I just.
Chopper is a real person, this is loosely based on a real story. But I feel like this movie is tapping into the Ned Kelly legend, the Robin Hood criminal with a heart of gold, or at least…a desire to stick it to ‘the man’. Chopper in court is shown to be intelligent and erudite, making people smile with his quick wit. Feeling sympathy for him is hard though given the willingness to
stab. I can see how this movie has a cult following with the kind of smart enough to know they’re smart audience who prizes old school masculinity – kind of like Fight Club, come to think of it. This attitude that because they’re smart they’re okay to do whatever they want, that basically, they’re better than everyone else because of being smart. I don’t like this attitude.
Does it make me love the people? I don’t… nah. The smarter than you attitude is gross, the violence and the bloody Australian seedy underbelly is all off putting. At least Romper Stomper showed the characters having some depth and vulnerabilities. When Chopper is shown with his father he just seems impatient with the old man.
Bechdel test: Uh, no.
Chopper: Look. The bloke’s been me best mate since 1975. We’ve had our fallouts from time to time, it’s no big deal. Y’know, it’s like… if ya mum stabs ya, whaddya do? Y-ya don’t get upset. Ya don’t get angry, ya go, “Shit, mum’s stabbed me, I better get off to the hospital.”
State of Mind: Nah, bro. I didn’t like it. At least the end is a bit introspective, a little meta. But meh.