Chopper (2000)

The film is incredibly loosely based on the true stories of criminal Mark Brandon ‘Chopper’ Read.

With Eric Bana in his first major film role and he’s out standing. Kind of a shame that the rest of his career kind of has to live up to this debut. But it is a great film.

The director, Andrew Dominik started his career directing music videos, and there are parts within the film that this is fairly obvious, similar to David Fincher in Fight Club. Some of the techniques that are used are tremendously stylized and not overly used either. Making them even better when they happen. Also the special effects are a surprising grim wonder.

The one thing it does remind me of, and this is probably no coincidence, is the Heath Ledger 1999 film Two Hands. I mean, there both about characters torn up in the Australian crime world, but you wonder if the inspiration is torn straight from Two Hands.

I may say that this film, at times, is hilarious. But it’s not the consistent funny and by no means an easy watch. Eric Bana is genuinely a terrifying screen presence. Being like a ticking bomb, whoever he’s in a room with make it a thrill to watch. But half the jokes wouldn’t be half as funny if the accents weren’t Australian. But Bana is terrific and the directing is superb, with the enhanced heart beat in the background adds this almost unbearable tension in the scenes. Then the film will do a total 180 and be a great comedy film. So this is a great way of presenting the mind set and deranged mind of Chopper.

An absolute genius film.


To quote Chopper himself this is “intelligent but tough”. A truly great, funny and tremendously well made and well acted film. Definitely one of the best film’s of the year 2000 but by no means an easy watch.

Best Line in the Film: Well there’s so many but It’d probably be- Why would I shoot a bloke BANG, then drive him to the bloody car and wizz him off to the hospital at a hundred miles an hour? It defeats the purpose of having shot him in the first place.” – Eric Bana


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