Starring: Ewan McGregor, Benton Thwaites, Alicia Vikander
Director: Julius Avery
Julius Avery is making his feature film directorial debut this week as he makes the transition from short movies for the first time with Son of a Gun. This may be his directorial debut, but that has not stopped Avery bringing together a terrific cast with Ewan McGregor leading the way with rising star Brenton Thwaites and Alicia Vikander also on board.
When JR (Thwaites) is sent to prison for a minor crime, he becomes the apprentice to Brendan Lynch (McGregor), Australia's public enemy number one. When JR helps Brendan break out, they go on the run and form a complex co-dependent relationship.
JR quickly learns in the criminal world, life is like a game of chess. To gain control, you have to stay a few moves ahead of your opponent. Lose that control, and you risk becoming a pawn in their very dangerous game.
Ok, so Son of a Gun doesn't reinvent the wheel when it comes to the action packed crime drama, but it was an entertaining and exciting watched that I thoroughly enjoyed. This is a very pacy action thriller with some terrific set pieces to keep you entertained.
You wouldn't know that this is Avery's feature film debut - he has also penned the screenplay - as he has delivered a confident crime caper that I did enjoy. Avery brings together and explores themes of the criminal world, revenge, and elements of heist movie - he balances all of these elements really well and the movie never really loses pace of its way.
However, Son of a Gun is the type of movie and story that we have seen many times before and there is nothing in the way of surprises or an unexpected direction of the story in the one hour forty-eight minute movie. But this in no way detracts from the film and I have no doubt that Avery is set to go on to bigger and better things in the next few years - he really is a filmmaker to keep an eye out for.
It is great to see McGregor take on a different kind of role as he plays hardened criminal Brendan Lynch and it is his performance that really does lift this movie to something more. This is not the kind of role that we are use to seeing him tackle and I really did think he was terrific - perhaps he should take on more badass roles going forward!!!
Thwaites does deliver a solid performance, but it would have been great to see more development for this character. Wanting to be Tash seemed to be his only driving force and I found that to be a little disappointing. However, Thwaites is a young actor who is on the rise and it looks like 2015 is going to be another very exciting year for him. As always, Alicia Vikander is on fine form as Tash as she beautifully balances the strength and vulnerability of this character.
Vikander is another actress who is making a name of herself in 2015 - Son of A Gun is the third film that we have seen her star in in January alone. Son of a Gun sees her tackle a very different character and genre as she continues to cement herself as a versatile and exciting actress.
For a directorial debut, Son of a Gin really is a very solid effort as Avery balances and action packed storyline with interesting characters and some great performances. I am interested to see what this director does next.