Fresh from last year’s BFI London Film Festival (where it landed an unlikely nomination for Best Film), taut heist thriller Son of a Gun is the first feature from writer-director Julius Avery, whose short film Jerrycan won the Jury Prize at Cannes in 2008. Imports Ewan McGregor and Alicia Vikander star alongside up-and-comer Brenton Thwaites, who plays a young prisoner taken under the protective wing of McGregor’s criminal hard man – accruing a debt that must be repaid on the outside.
Here’s the official synopsis:
Locked up for a minor crime, 19 year old JR (Brenton Thwaites) quickly learns the harsh realities of prison life. Protection, if you can get it, is paramount. JR soon finds himself under the watchful eye of Australia’s most notorious criminal, Brendan Lynch (Ewan McGregor). But protection comes at a price; Lynch and his crew have plans for their young protégée. Upon release, JR must help secure Lynch’s freedom, staging a daring prison break and joining his crew as they plan a gold heist that promises to deliver millions. However, as things start to go wrong, a deadly game of cat and mouse ensues. JR finds himself unsure of whom he can trust and on a collision course with his former mentor.
Big and dumb (in the nicest possible way), the film is chock full of action set-pieces and machine-gun shootouts. Undeniably tense and surprisingly gritty, this is genre filmmaking on a scale rarely attempted in Australia. Fitting, then, that it should break out of Aussie cinema’s arthouse prison, jump a chopper and crash headlong into the big, bad world of the multiplex.