Locked up for a minor crime, 19 year old JR (Brenton Thwaites) quickly learns the harsh realities of prison life. Protection, if you can get it, is paramount. JR soon finds himself under the watchful eye of Australia’s most notorious criminal, Brendan Lynch (Ewan McGregor). But protection comes at a price; Lynch and his crew have plans for their young protégée. Upon release, JR must help secure Lynch’s freedom, staging a daring prison break and joining his crew as they plan a gold heist that promises to deliver millions. However, as things start to go wrong, a deadly game of cat and mouse ensues. JR finds himself unsure of whom he can trust and on a collision course with his former mentor.
Son of a Gun is the feature debut of Julius Avery, winner of the Cannes Jury Prize for his short film Jerrycan, and stars Ewan McGregor, Brenton Thwaites and golden girl of the moment, Alicia Vikander, who just seems to be in everything. Also filmed in on location in Australia, you won’t be privy to any beautiful scenery though, more like barren wasteland, prison and seedy clubs; this isn’t a bad thing as it sets the tone of the film perfectly. Australia really don’t get enough credit for their film making skills, hopefully with a name such as McGregor in the leading role they get the credit they deserve with this film.
While yes this is a heist film it’s not what you would normally see from this type of film, the storyline is tight and intriguing which has a subtle intensity about it but it certainly isn’t overpowering. We not only have a love story unfold before our eyes as JR becomes slightly obsessed with what seems to be the only girl he has ever encountered at times, but we have a few twists, which quite frankly were pretty obvious but intriguing nonetheless. Not only that but it’s full of action too, the standout action scene has to be the Prison Breakout with lots big guns, shooting and a hijacked helicopter!
Brenton Thwaites is obviously the pretty boy cast to bring in the female audience, even though he comes across a bit bewildered throughout most of the film he plays a slightly naive puppy really well. Ewan McGregor as a bad boy father figure was both humorous and quite menacing, to be frank it made a refreshing change to see him play this type of character, he completely steals the film. Alicia Vikander seems to be everywhere right now, the only problem is she does seem to have this one dimensional thing going on, she does well but she just seems to have this one expression she uses throughout the film and quite frankly every film I have actually seen her in recently.
Son of A Gun has a great storyline but with lots of action, humour, a twist and romance it wasn’t too heavy. This is a really entertaining and enjoyable film.