Title: Felony (2013)
Director: Matthew Saville (Noise)
Cast: Joel Edgerton, Jai Courtney, Tom Wilkinson, Melissa George
Plot: When good natured detective Malcolm Toohey (Edgerton) is involved in a drink driving accident that endangers the live of a young boy, seasoned detective Carl Summer (Wilkinson) helps Malcolm cover up his crime although young upstart Jim Melic (Courtney) senses something is amiss.
“The world is gonna swallow us up, and who knows in the end if we’ll leave a mark”
Review by Eddie on 30/01/2015
Another one of the recent spat of Australian films that have failed to find an audience at home despite good reviews, Joel Edgerton scripted and Matthew Saville directed Felony is a frustrating experience due to it being a film that constantly threatens to become something powerful, yet is consistently bought down back to a level that makes it easy to see why people failed to fork out the cash to see a tale that isn’t overly original or as effective as it wants to be.
Starting out in a hugely promising fashion, Felony looks likely to be one of those searing Australian dramas in the vein of Animal Kingdom or even Saville’s own under-seen gem Noise, yet quickly descends into a procession of seen before events that culminate in a fairly unimpressive ending. The central scenario that Edgerton and Saville create is an intriguing one and a ripe potential idea and it’s clear that the idea was developed first and the strands that follow afterwards and the film just can’t keep up its beginning pace that sees some smart scripting and direction take place. You’ll be undoubtedly hooked as these detectives look to cover up a shocking accident and thanks to some fine acting the film remains viable despite it’s failures.
Edgerton remains a solid if unspectacular core to the film but the continued emergence of Jai Courtney and the ever good work of Tom Wilkinson (here called in to ad gravitas to a film that needed the weight) really brings the film to life. Courtney does some fine work as young detective Jim, even though he is saddled to the films horrid and awkward love story but it really is Wilkinson that steals this show. Wilkinson is both sympathetic, calculated and snarling as old time detective Summer. Wilkinson bites into the script and comes out on fire, it’s a joy to see such a veteran of the industry come to our fair shores and show us how it’s done and he clearly had a blast with this character. Director Saville also comes up trumps here despite some narrative flaws in the story and his direction honed in film and quality TV like The Slap has clearly set him up well.
While many bemoan local audiences failing to support home grown films, if the films are like Felony there’s no reason why we should be forking out hard earned money on films like this. There not bad films but there films that aren’t likely to cause people much excitement as truth be told, it’s nothing we haven’t been witness to before and Felony just doesn’t do enough to leap from the pack even though it has some nice moments.
3 side view mirrors out of 5