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Last Ride (DVD Review)

20 Oct, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Music Box
Box Office $0.006 million
$29.95 DVD
Not rated.
Stars Hugo Weaving, Tom Russell, Anita Hegh, John Brumpton, Sonya Suares, Kelton Pell.

The love between a child and a parent sometimes endures even in the face of the latter’s self-inflicted shortcomings.

Drifter Kev (Hugo Weaving in an honest performance) and his 10-year-old son, Chook (newcomer Tom Russell), are on the lam in the Australian outback. The father appears to be an unprincipled type with a short fuse and penchant for making the wrong decisions even in the best of times.

To Chook, life is a neverending road trip to mystical Adelaide on foot or by stolen vehicle, surviving through shoplifting, petty theft, hunting small prey, and camping under the stars or inside somewhere as a squatter.

Through it all, the boy loves his dad (and vice versa), even if the old man acts impulsively and, at times, cruelly to him and others. This behavior includes intentionally provoking bar fights and a one-night stand with an old flame (Anita Hegh), whose apparent attraction to the flawed Kev can’t mask her concern that his boy “needs a real home.” Throughout the journey, flashbacks reveal in snippets the cause for the father-son flight, underscoring life’s steep learning curve for the boy.

While Kev battles inner demons, his appreciation of the outdoors, surroundings and the lessons they instill on his son are indelible and showcased early in the film when he convinces Aborigine park rangers to let him and the boy camp with an open fire in an area prohibited to do so.

Last Ride, which was originally produced in 2009, is an engaging independent Aussie production that visually captures the country’s expansive landscape as well as the undeniable reality that life’s mistakes — even in the middle of nowhere — leave a trail.

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