Action Movie Fanatix Review: Red Hill

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Revenge Just Rode Into Town

Starring: Ryan Kwanten, Steve Bisley, Tom E. Lewis, Claire van der Boom

Director: Patrick Hughes

2010  |  97 Minutes  |  Rated R

“If Jimmy Conway rides into town he’ll be bringing hell with him.  Shoot to kill.” – Old Bill

So, this Patrick Hughes guy I have never heard of will be the director for The Expendables 3.  He had apparently directed a little Australian movie called Red Hill.  I thought it would be a good idea to check it out.

After being shot on duty, Australian police officer Shane Cooper (Ryan Kwanten) and his pregnant wife move to the quiet Outback town of Red Hill.  On Shane’s first day on the job he finds Red Hill under attack by an escaped Aborigine convict named Jimmy Conway (Tom E. Lewis).

Red Hill is treated as a sort of modern day western except that instead of the Wild West we have the Australian Outback.  It works.  The setting is a tiny town in the middle of a desert and it’s all very reminiscent of some of the great American western tales.

Shane isn’t exactly the typical action movie or even western badass.  He is actually something of a coward at the outset.  I guess I can’t blame him.  This is one heck of a first day on the job.  Plus his wife is pregnant.  If that doesn’t get you rooting for the guy I don’t know what will.

Jimmy Conway is a pretty terrifying bad guy and that is without even muttering so much as a single word the entire movie.  Half of his face is burnt ala Two Face.  Add to that the descriptions we are given of his crime prior to ever getting a look at him.  He just has this fearsome aura about him.

When Red Hill isn’t savagely violent it can be extremely beautiful.  It is set against the gorgeous Australian Outback.  I see movies like this and Tomorrow, When the War Began and I can’t help wondering why more movies aren’t shot here.

The music isn’t necessarily memorable but it does its job and fits each scene perfectly.

I’m getting a little sick of using the term “slow burn” but Red Hill definitely fits the bill.  From the very beginning this movie oozes intensity but doesn’t speed from explosion to explosion, instead taking us on a night-long journey with occasional shootouts and a surprise panther.

Honestly, I don’t have anything to complain about with Red Hill.  It’s really a great movie that, aside from not having big name actors, looks and feels big screen.  I’m really looking forward to seeing what Mr. Hughes has in store for us with The Expendables 3.

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