Dirty Deeds

Like most Australian films an American idea. But this does a better than average job of making it uniquely Australian, with the use of much more than just Bryan Brown's ocker accent. The cars, the fashions, the culture and the life and times of the late 1960's underworld crime scene in Sydney are bought to garish life and celebrated in a sort of 'crime heyday', when men were men, shelias knew their place, and the toughest ruled the roost.

Fresh home from Vietnam, Darcy (Worthington) is determined to be his own boss, but he has to get money together, so he learns the ropes of his Uncle Barry's (Brown) business - protection rackets and poker machine peddling. Barry is a true blue Aussie crim, no bullshit, a unique blend of street smarts and ocker mannerism that's seen him stay on top. He deals with the political gentry and the local crooked coppers (personified by Sam Neill, the detective always around to ensure the cash keeps flowing without war hitting the streets).

He also has to contend with the American Mafia goons (Goodman and Williamson) sent over to get involved/take over. The story is interesting and the characters sufficiently varied and engaging to take you in (although Brown is as always just over the edge of over-acting). But it's the high style of the direction in which writer/director Caesar takes flight, bringing us car chases and gunfights with 60's cop show drama zing from the Bluey era. As kitsch cool as the orange and purple psychedelic wallpaper on your childhood dining room wall, and the long-awaited 'story' film from Caser after 'film maker' films like Idiot Box and Mullet.

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