THE PLOT THUS FAR
An Afrikaner veteran of the Boer War has just immigrated to New Zealand and is hired to track a man accused of killing a soldier. While hunting through the countryside he captures his fugitive, only to learn that he’s innocent of the crime. When faced with the life changing decision to turn him in or set him free only one man will walk away alive.
WHAT WE THOUGHT
A former soldier of the Boer war arrives in New Zealand in 1903 for reasons unknown. Shortly thereafter a British soldier is killed in a conflict with a Maori when the soldier and his drinking buddies discover the Maori with a white woman in a barn. The Maori at the time was on a break from a whaling ship on which he served as a harpooner. On learning of the killing, the commander of the soldiers quickly organizes a hunting party with a tracker. He also enlists the aid of the Boer guy that may or may not be on vacation to assist his tracker. There is a nice reward of 100 sovereigns for the Maori alive and 25 dead.
Winstone’s presence doesn’t faze him. The plot ensures he is integral and not just a ‘brown-skinned irrelevance’ and he demonstrates an impressive Maori lexicon to prove it. It’s not a natural pairing, but they have unmistakable chemistry. Both are educated, worldly and principled. They have a mutual respect. Winstone’s rotund frame suits his weathered character in a way that it hasn’t in his recent tough-guy roles. To track Kereama he has to be agile, self-sufficient and able to summon his skills as a South African bushman. He shows in a gritty, believable punch-up that he still has the moves. And he pulls off a convincing accent.
The DVD comes with a trailer and interviews with the cast. The A/V Quality is fairly decent, but there’s no shaking the haze that permeates throughout the transfer. The Dolby 5.1 track is strong enough, but it fails to really impress at the moments where it is most needed. Still, it’s a decent flick with solid acting. That alone makes it worth a rental.
RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW!