David Wenham showcases his versatility with a pricelessly funny, what-just-happened scene-stealing performance as a luckless drug addict and criminal, Johnny “Spit” Spitieri. Eschewing his leading man features for ratty mullet hairdo, glazed eyes, a permanently dazed expression and rotten teeth, Wenham sports an outfit of tiny shorts, tight jeans and loud shirts that must have set back the costume department a whopping $14.95 at K-Mart.He embraces the stereotype of the Gold Coast dole-bludging dropout and plays it to the hilt. Best of all, he also manages to build an endearing characterisation beneath the showy comic trappings. What initially seems like a source of light relief eventually becomes Gettin Square’s central figure. Miraculously, by picture’s end we even come to care what happens to him. His hilarious courtroom inquisition is the highlight of an otherwise cleverly worked out, if routine, heist movie (screenplay by debut writer-producer Chris Nyst).
Jonathan Teplitzky’s follow-up to Better than Sex is chock-full of talented actors. Sam Worthington solidly underplays as Worth, determined to “get square” (go straight) now that he’s been paroled. David Field is a nasty corrupt cop, Gary Sweet an underworld figure, Timothy Spall a dieting ex-con turned “square” businessman and the consistently fine Helen Thomson plays his wife. Mitchell Butel is virtually unrecognisable as Spall’s lawyer, Con.No one, however, can distract attention from Wenham. He raises laughs even when off screen, from the dubbed sound of his cheap thongs slapping the pavement.