Sunday, December 27, 2009


I watched Australia last night. It is a terrible movie stinking turd. Don't watch it. This is what happens:

Nicole Kidman, who spends the entire film in the outback yet fails to get a tan, is an English aristocrat. Her husband, for reasons which are never explained, owns a cattle farm (ranch? station?) in deepest Australia. She thinks he is shagging the natives, and decides to go to Aus, make him sell the farm, and bring him home. So far, so premise.

Nic arrives in Australia by "air boat" or "sky ship" or something equally twee - the whole film is narrated by a small part-Aborigine child who uses English vernacular in a charmingly inaccurate way ("they gottum on like a burning house") which is maybe cute to some but just kind of fucked me off.

Anyway, when Nic arrives she is to be met off the metal bird by someone called Drover, who is played by that guy who played Wolverine - what's his name - never mind, you know the one. Interestingly, Wolverine is called Drover for the entire film, even after he and Nic fall in love (don't worry, it's not a surprise twist or anything). Does he not have a real name? This is never explained.

Because he is friends with the black natives, Wolverine is in a bar fight which spills out of the bar and ends up with him hitting someone over the head with Nic's suitcase, which breaks open and spills her undies everywhere. She screams and calls him a cad and he says "Crikey," which happens thrice more in the film. It is like Crocodile Dundee all over again, except the humour is unintentional. It is instantly obvious that Wolverine and Nic are going to end up together.

Wolverine escorts Nic to her house/station where she discovers a) her husband is MURDERED and b) the small half-aborigine child who has been narrating all this time. Can't remember his name but it sounds a bit like 'Nutella.' Anyway, the station manager, who is Faramir from Lord of the Rings, although this is never mentioned, is a dick about some stuff (stealing cattle, beating women, fathering Nutella) and Nic fires him. He leaves, saying as he goes, "You'll never get anyone to drove your cattle now!" Nic is a bit weepy but then Nutella says something touching and she sings Somewhere Over the Rainbow and then she decides that she wants to drove the cattle, keep the station alive, etc. If only someone could help!

Suddenly there is a thunder of hooves and Wolverine arrives. No-one is surprised when he is all good to drove some cattle. Nic, Nutella and Wolverine put together a team of unruly misfits (an old drunk, an old black dude, and a very racially profiled chef called Sing-Song) to get the cattle to "him big steel boat" or whatever it is that we're calling transport ships nowadays. Unsurprisingly, it turns out Nic can ride a horse. How droll! Montage of Nic ineptly herding cattle. Flirty flirty.

Cut to a bit of backstory about how a dude called Carney (like the circus folk!) has a monopoly on the cattle market and Nic's little station is the only one holding out against him. Touching scenes, touching scenes. Carney is revealed to be Not a Nice Chap when he tells Faramir to stop Nic's cattle getting to Darwin (so the Army can buy them - I forgot to mention there was a reason) and to take whatever measures necessary.

Nutella's grandpa, who is called King George and who Faramir accused of killing Nic's husband, turns up at the ranch and stands on one leg and sings. This is mysterious but ultimately ineffective. They all go droving. The reformed drunk is caught in a stampede of Faramir's making and dies, but not before a) giving his much-loved harmonica to Nutella and b) revealing that it was not King George who killed Nic's husband, but Faramir! Dern dern dernnnn. The stampede is stopped by Nutella standing on the edge of a cliff and stopping the entire 1500-head herd of cattle by looking them in the eye and singing a little song. He is maybe 8, but it works. MAGICALLY.

Then Nic decides to go across the Never-Never, which is a bit of Aus that you don't go into. Wolverine says Crikey and It Has Never Been Droved and NO but the oasis has been poisoned by Faramir and so they have no choice. Nutella's Grandad turns up and stands on one leg and sings.

You think they are dead in the Never-Never but then suddenly they turn up in Darwin and get all that cattle on the boat in a last-minute neck-and-neck race with Carney's cattle (I am not making this up) and the ranch is saved and Nic and Wolverine totally make out and she is served in the men's bar even though she is a woman AND THAT IS WHERE THE MOVIE SHOULD END.

But it doesn't. Everyone goes home. Nic and Wolverine fight because he doesn't want to be tied down. Nutella is shipped off to Mission Island (unrelated). The old black dude (not Nutella's grandad) tells Wolverine to be better to Nic and to settle down, even though he is all about not settling down. Wolverine realises the mistake he has made and rides for Darwin. They get there. The Japanese have bombed Darwin in the interim (which is filmed like a small-budget Pearl Harbour). It appears that Nic is dead. Oh No!

Wolverine and the black dude go to Mission Island and save many, many children. Black dude dies heroic death-by-Japanese in order to save children. Wolverine gets back to town - Nic is about to LEAVE FOREVER but then Nutella plays Somewhere Over the Rainbow on his harmonica and she hears him and comes running out of the mist and there is a lot of "Crikey!" and "I thought you were dead!" and making out and then Faramir tries to shoot Nutella but Nutella's Grandad, who was hanging out in a water tower, stands on one leg and sings and throws a mother-fuckin' spear through the heart of Faramir, and thusly is justice served.

And Wolverine and Nic and Nutella go back to the station and live happily ever after, except for Nutella, who goes walkabout. But that's OK too.


Heather said...

Shit. That sounds like such a cinematic masterpiece. & by cinematic masterpiece, I mean a chain of totally unrelated events somehow strung together by indigenous singers & Nicole Kidman's botoxed face.

Anonymous said...

exquisite literary prose. Even the aussies fucken hated it thats how much bullshit it is. TB
Excellent entertaining blog to.

Juli Ryan said...

Last night, I thought about watching it, but then I decided to read my book instead. And my book isn't very good.

neon panda said...

You make me laugh! It has just struck me that if i had spent 10 or so minutes reading this surprisingly accurate synopsis before watching the movie i could have saved myself 3 hours of life!

Tooting Squared said...

You need a job reviewing films. It would save people the anguish of watching tut like Australia / Cold Mountain / Eyes Wide Shut (all Nic K films? Coincidence? I don't think so!) I'll write a letter to the BBC recommending you.

VW - Djuhcrou. As in "Australia was a right loads of djuhcrou".

chris.dadness said...

It's no joke living in a country named after a dud film.