TRACKER

REVIEW COMING SOON

Release Date: 29th April 2011

Director: Ian Sharp (Who Dares Wins)

Cast: Ray Winstone, Temuera Morrison, Gareth Reeves, Andy Anderson, Mark Mitchinson, Jodie Hillock

Writer: Nicolas Van Pallandt

Trailer: TRACKER

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

  • Ray Winstone: The Hot PotatoThe Sweeney Movie, Snow White & The Huntsman, Elfie Hopkins, Hugo, London Boulevard, Fathers Of Girls, The Devil’s Tomb, Rango (voice),  Sex & Drugs & Rock-N-Roll44 Inch Chest, Edge Of Darkness,   Indiana Jones & The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skulls, Fool’s Gold, Breaking and Entering, The Departed, Cold Mountain, Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion The Witch & The Wardrobe (voice),  The Proposition, King Arthur (2004),  Ripley’s Game, The Martins, Last Orders, Sexy Beast, There’s Only One Jimmy Grimble, Nil By Mouth, Love Honour and Obey, Fanny and Elvis,  Final Cut,  Martha – Meet Daniel Luke and Laurence, Face, Ladybird Ladybird, Tank Malling, Quadrophenia, Scum, Robin Of Sherwood (TV)
  • Temuera Morrison: The Green Lantern, Shortland Street (TV), Couples Retreat, Star Wars- Revenge Of The Sith, The Beautiful Country, Star Wars- Attack Of The Clones, Vertical Limit, What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted, Six Days Seven Nights, Speed 2, Broken English, The Island Of Dr. Moreau, Barb Wire, Once Were Warriors
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One thought on “TRACKER

  1. review by JOE PESCI II aka Matt Usher

    Colonial New Zealand, a despised Maori, a defeated Boer: TRACKER could have been a fascinating, imaginative, exciting and unusual examination of a point in British colonial history rife with unexamined dramatic possibilities. It takes place between the wars (the Second Boer and the First World) as a defeated Boer (Ray Winstone on good, restrained form, and with a surprisingly good accent) arrives in New Zealand, intent on discovering the truth about the death of his family. He soon finds himself embroiled in a manhunt for Temuera Morrison – a Maori framed by evil soldiers for the death of one of their number even though it was all their fault in the first place, pesky colonials. So off Ray goes, leading a fellowship of exceptionally dull soldiers (comprising a not very good tracker, a dull but dutiful captain who just happens to be the very chap Ray was looking for in connection with his first tracking quest, plus the actual killer of the dead man, and his accomplice). I think I’m making this a lot more complicated than it really was. Anyway, Ray soon abandons the soldiers, and tracks Temuera down, but Temuera knows the land and gets away, but then gets caught very unconvincingly anyway. The rest of the film comprises Temuera escaping, getting caught, escaping, capturing Ray, tripping over, getting caught, escaping, I think you get the idea. Oh, and he bonds with Ray in an oppressed-colonials-against-the-system sort of way.

    It was not very good.

    But it could have been, that’s the pity of it. There are interesting ideas, and it avoids certain clichés that I was expecting: the film doesn’t just paint the British as evil conquering overlords, Ray’s character admits the Boers’ guilt (I liked the bit where he admits fighting for the wrong kind of freedom), the dull but decent officer is decent and honourable and reasonable. New Zealand looks beautiful, though the cinematography somehow fails to make the most of it. But the film is compromised by one thing and sunk by another: Temuera Morrison, and the script.

    Now, apart from his turn as Jango Fett in the fake STAR WARS movies I’ve missed Temuera Morrison’s career which has embraced both ONCE WERE WARRIORS and Kiwi soap SHORTLAND STREET. In TRACKER he plays a tortured soul anxious to make his peace with his ancestors (or something), whilst also being on the run for a crime he did not commit. But he gives the impression of being a chap who’s taken a wrong turn whilst on holiday (I don’t mean a wrong turn as in finding himself surrounded by cannibalistic inbred hillbillies, I mean wrong turn as in wandering around Chichester and finding Pizza Hut instead of Asda).

    Meanwhile the script is horrible. Some of the confrontations between Winstone and Morrison are monumentally ropey. There are exchanges like ‘I will kill you with my gun ‘But I will kill you with my knife ‘But I am faster than you are’ ‘I am stronger than you are’ ‘But I have a gun’ ‘But you can’t shoot straight’ (OK, I’ve made all that up but honestly it’s that level of nonsense that they’re spouting) and one gazes in utter disbelief at the screen and begs it to stop. But it doesn’t! This piffle seems to go on forever, punctuated by occasional, poorly staged fight sequences.

    Ultimately I left the film feeling that too many people had been involved in the project without having a clear idea what to do with it. As a chase film it fails as the chasing is over and done with very early on. As a reluctant buddies film and as a culture clash thing it fails because neither character is convincing, nor is their common foe. It is as a historical film that it may have had the greatest potential, but it seems to have no point to make, and fails to really explore British colonialism, New Zealand’s place in the world, the Boer War or the status of Maoris. Even as an advert for New Zealand’s tourist industry it fails to do justice to that country’s scenery. It’s all a bit of a Sunday afternoon snoozer really, and a disappointing one at that.

    3.5 out of 10

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