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Overall Rating
4.33

Awesome61.79%
Worth A Look: 19.51%
Average: 13.01%
Pretty Bad: 0.81%
Total Crap: 4.88%

8 reviews, 75 user ratings



Chopper
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by Dust For Eyes

"Chopper the slicer"
4 stars

Chopper Read gets the big screen treatment in this adaptation of some of Read's stories. With Bana's vehement performance we get to see the plain and simple version of the crime underworld.

Mark Brandon 'Chopper' Read: What recognition should be given to him? Not only is he a criminal, but he has profited from his notoriety by writing some best selling books. His name is linked to a number of murders, yet has only gone to court for one - And got off. What the hell is this guy doing being a pop crime star?

A pathological liar - not to be trusted - he tells made up stories like how he's in with corrupt police. Forget any history rewriting squabbles like in U-571 or The Patriot, the history wasn't written properly in the first place. He doesn't consider himself to be evil when he kills, since he kills criminals - he claims that the general public has nothing to fear from him.

Are being a good storyteller and a larrikin spirit good enough for us to overlook his murderous past and make him a pop anti-idol? It seems it is as we see some of Chopper's adventures being committed to the screen.

After the fun of the crime fiction film, Judas Kiss, Chopper comes as quite a jolt. There's no wise cracking cool here. It's all gritty realism of the crime underworld. There's no romanticised view of crime - no stylised violence. Just plain old ear cutting. Remember in Reservoir Dogs where the camera pans away as the guy's ear gets cut off? No luxury here as we learn precisely how Read lost his ears - Ew.

In this film we don't get inside Read's head very much - it would have be interesting to try and explore what makes Read tick. There's no hint to why Read is like he is - how did he get into the business? Is he ill? We know he's sick, but is he ill? Is he a cold calculated professional or is he just too mixed up to do anything else? Since the movie is largely based on Read's books of disturbing popularity, Read wouldn't want to reveal too much himself (if he knows anyway), so we don't learn in the books-based movie.

This is the most intense jail film since Ghosts Of The Civil Dead - the tone is set in the jail where everything is stark, grim and just plain ugly. With a similar feel as the TV shows Phoenix and Janus, the tone is continued on the outside when he is released with the drug taking and matter of fact portrayal of the violence.

With the prevalence of stylised violence greeting our cinema eyes, Chopper gives us a timely reminder that violence isn't particularly pleasant. The shootings and stabbings are shown with no fanfare, John-Woo-style-slow-motion or rock tune so we see violence for what it really is. Chopper is to organised crime what The Thin Red Line was for war.

Set in the 70s/ early 80s there is a strange absurdity in the look of the characters. It seems that the most ridiculous 70s hairstyles ever created were used for characters. With Chopper excused of a bad hairstyle, the look of the characters helps set Chopper apart from everybody else - as if he is something quite different from the rest of us.

Bana gives a nicely subdued performance. He needed to tip toe between totally deranged killer and comedian. Bana plays it so we are not really sure if Read is being serious or not. Does Chopper know how sickening we think he is? Does he think he is sickening?

Andrew Dominick should be praised for his direction in the film - the seedy feel and the performances he extracts from Bana and the rest of the cast is impressive. Yet it is in his script that disappoints as he offers little insight into the person behind Chopper. This film leaves you with more questions that you had entering and the film answers few of them.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=4357&reviewer=166
originally posted: 07/11/00 11:11:44
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For more in the Australian series, click here.

User Comments

9/14/17 morris campbell A good portrait Bana is excellent 4 stars
5/22/16 LETSDANCEMUSIC R.I.P CHOPPER 5 stars
3/14/07 leah dat shit was mean 5 stars
8/07/06 ERIN SWEENEY A new classic,it is now on my favorite and must have list 5 stars
7/03/06 Reklc Just say Chopp, Chopp and you got a great flick. 5 stars
6/30/05 Janek Who says crime doesnt pay!! 5 stars
5/11/05 Nick You yanks cannot understand your own pathetic country. Give up and eat another big mac. 5 stars
11/01/04 tom butler fucken ace 5 stars
10/20/04 peter brown fu**ing wild. brilliant film 5 stars
3/23/04 jane absolutely brilliant... 5 stars
3/01/04 michael scott never let the truth get in the way of a good yarn eh. 5 stars
2/04/04 JANINE E DICKMAN HES MY HERO 5 stars
1/08/04 james s awsome 5 stars
1/07/04 Rajneesh Chopra Intakhab IV Dad! 5 stars
12/30/03 tony why isnt there a chopper 2/ 1 was excellant 5 stars
10/16/03 Beck It was absolutley fantastic - Eric Bana Rocks 5 stars
10/12/03 dale auty bloody excellent 5 stars
8/28/03 melissa Best Eva Chop Chop is the best -run for prime-minister 5 stars
8/15/03 Drew Cady best movie ever 5 stars
7/26/03 bill jones great 4 stars
7/03/03 Tim Seed I absolutely agree with Chris Parry 5 stars
6/29/03 fran drescher i played with myself because itwas that good 5 stars
6/26/03 terry a stringer the world would be a safer place with people like him 5 stars
6/23/03 karen mcdonald brilliant but wheres the other stuff they left out ? 4 stars
4/25/03 mr. Pink Tried to be hip very hard. Too much style, not much substance. Bana was OK 2 stars
4/10/03 Melinda Coady The Govt wanted his $ from this film so Chopper donated it to Child.Hospital. On ya Chopper 5 stars
4/03/03 ohyeah fricken awesome. GIVE ME MORE 5 stars
3/05/03 @#$%^&*!@ I LOVE CHOPPER 5 stars
2/11/03 adam rodwell more,more 5 stars
11/15/02 j.watson shit hot 5 stars
11/12/02 Amber Grassam Great film. Shame alot of things that went on were left out 4 stars
8/02/02 beau mather absolutely fucking wickedly brutally excellent!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
5/25/02 larry get part two rolling 5 stars
4/02/02 The Bomb 69 interesting storyline but the movie was all over the place, how did he get away with this?? 3 stars
2/16/02 Belinda Jane Chopper let us see the Chopper he wants us to think he is...... 4 stars
1/28/02 Denise Xerri fucking brilliant 5 stars
1/17/02 Davin Boscence Just Bloody Terrific!!! 5 stars
1/13/02 Peter Stisnijovski A movie that you can't sleep thru it (ENJOYED IT and it was funny, but real) 5 stars
12/15/01 denis jared one of the best moves ive seen and the books a must 5 stars
11/25/01 Karl Kissick Greatest Film i've seen in a long time!! 5 stars
11/01/01 Choppers_Girl_Fan The best movie ever 5 stars
10/14/01 Angela Davis the best filck I've ever seen. 10out of 10 5 stars
10/02/01 stephen dilworth excellent 5 stars
9/16/01 renee white i love chopper he is the best 5 stars
8/16/01 anthony west very good 5 stars
5/12/01 The King Great movie, definately worth the money 4 stars
5/07/01 fleakitty charismatic rogue or sociopathic demon? eric bana(na)'s perfect as always. talented man! 5 stars
4/30/01 Mike A none too shabby 5 stars
4/22/01 ricky whitfort very funny movie not far from the truth 4 stars
4/18/01 Robbo Very good 4 stars
4/10/01 Pweter Harshly realistic, incrediable character, unquie 5 stars
4/01/01 wade "bucketbongbouncer" macdonald its tha fuckin best movie 5 stars
3/31/01 fred a bit eerie!!!! 5 stars
2/25/01 Wade Barry like him or not ... absolutley AMAZING ! look at the awards...enuff said 5 stars
2/09/01 hum very well crafted film. be warned, it is as unpleasant as it should be 4 stars
1/30/01 Rubber Fucking Great!!! 5 stars
1/08/01 Jeff Best movie of the year 5 stars
10/12/00 m larsen loved it!!!! 5 stars
9/26/00 Lolita Martinez It was bloody phenomenal!!!!! 5 stars
8/27/00 Timbo Great but the violence made me wince. Fascinating characters, strong acting 4 stars
8/23/00 Geoff Stewart Didn't glorify just lacked any point, do I really give a shit about Chopper Read? 3 stars
8/21/00 Gribbles bloody fantastic mate 5 stars
8/17/00 justin athanitis it is the best movie that i have ever had the pleasure of being able to watch. excelent. 5 stars
8/17/00 neil bartlett an awesome performance from Eric Bana 4 stars
8/15/00 Mick Edwards Eric Bana - Russell Crowe watch out!!! 5 stars
8/14/00 K. Johnson Rather good 5 stars
8/13/00 Belinda And.........the AFI goes to "Eric Bana" 4 stars
8/12/00 ashley james kennedy i have seen it once and plan togo back (still a very good move 5 stars
8/11/00 Nick Excellent 5 stars
8/09/00 Scot Tindall an underdeveloped character study 3 stars
8/07/00 Viling Stop glorifying psychos !!!! 3 stars
8/05/00 ashley james kennedy very good 5 stars
8/04/00 matthew smith the best Australian film in many years, confronting and very funny. 5 stars
7/31/00 filmnet cutting edge filmaking that even chris parry might like! 5 stars
7/23/00 TIGGER Whoa! Soooo cool! I have seen it 5 times and I will see it more! 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  11-Apr-2001 (R)
  DVD: 13-Nov-2001

UK
  N/A

Australia
  03-Aug-2000 (R)


Directed by
  Andrew Dominik

Written by
  Andrew Dominik

Cast
  Eric Bana
  Simon Lyndon
  Daniel Wyllie
  Vince Colosimo
  David Field
  Bill Young



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