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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 34.69%
Average: 6.12%
Pretty Bad: 2.04%
Total Crap: 4.08%

1 review, 43 user ratings

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Two Hands
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by Filmink Magazine (owes us money)

"Gritty, darkly comic, with a steadying dose of laid back charm."
4 stars

For a nation broken in on the backs of convicts, the Australian crime film is a surprisingly endangered species. Arthouse quirkiness rules, and when a good crime flick does come along (think Redball or Idiot Box), nobody knows what to do with it. Two Hands might finally be the movie to take Australia's mean streets onto the big screen. Gritty, darkly comic and with a steadying dose of laid back charm, Two Hands is good enough to make crime pay in Australian cinemas.

Jimmy (Ledger) is a young hood desperate to crack it in the Sydney underworld. He steps up by wiring into local drug dealer Pando (Brown), but trips when he loses ten thousand dollars of the mobster's money. The only answer seems to be a bank job, mapped out by his hooked-in sister, Dierdre (Porter). But Pando and his mates, and a romance with an innocent country girl (Byrne) send Jimmy's life into a tailspin.

After making out at Cannes with his witty short Swinger, director Gregor Jordan takes on his first feature film with verve, imagination and a needling sense of street urgency. Blistering bare knuckle boxing scenes, bloody shoot outs, comic crims and drug deals are all part of Jordan's grubby mise en scene, but with a refreshingly Australian twist. The crims wear footy shorts and thongs, the shoot-outs tear their way through Kings Cross and there's a moment of truth under the monorail station in Liverpool Street. The film's already full throttle narrative is kicked up another gear by its dramatic take on the here and now.

Jordan's casting also works to the film's mood of tough action and edgy comedy. With winning foresight, Jordan's grabbed star-on-the-rise Heath Ledger just before he makes it big in the States with 10 Things I Hate About You and The Patriot. Ledger is lean and hungry, but still charming enough to make Jimmy a sympathetically moving hero. Newcomer Byrne's ethereal sweetness manages to pull her role above that of just "the girl", and Susie Porter sprays spit and vinegar as Jimmy's hard nosed sister. But two performances take the film out. A mulleted Steve Le Marquand is hilarious as yobbo hold up man Wozza, treating the bank job like a day at the footy. And though it was fun to see him drag around his bandaged up chopper in Dear Claudia, Bryan Brown gives his best performance in ages as Pando. Half stony menace and half back-slapping larrikin, he makes for an exciting and intriguingly complex bad guy.

Tough, funny and compelling, Two Hands is the pumped up tour through the criminal underworld that Australian cinema needed. ---Erin Free

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originally posted: 07/30/99 03:12:22
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User Comments

5/31/10 mickey kinda funny 3 stars
10/30/04 Archanist_101 This rating says it all... 3 stars
8/31/03 John Bale Rough as guts thriller verges on farce with overacting. Cast went on better things. 2 stars
9/17/02 Nila Mitchell A great film which doesn't embarras us Aussies for a change. Much more entertaining than th 5 stars
3/01/02 Chowie Heath if so fucking gorgeous!!!!!!!!!!!oh, yeah and the film was AWESOME as well 5 stars
2/09/02 Phil great.. get caught by it and dream with it 5 stars
1/20/02 Bill Lilburn Haven't yet caught the entire of it, but the 1st half pulls you in. 4 stars
1/15/02 Tomper A real ripper! Don't muck with the sax palyers sax. Big Bryan Brown fan. 5 stars
10/16/01 Sarah Angelopolous Best Aussie film ever 5 stars
10/13/01 Chay I thought it was a great movie. I'd watch it again. 4 stars
10/05/01 Xerox The heist scene was hilarious. When that kid got hit by the car it was unexpected. 4 stars
8/27/01 Brad Awesome. As good as it gets 5 stars
8/15/01 Heather Its the BEST film, Heath ledger is so hot but if your not an aussie you won't get the slang 5 stars
5/12/01 Chris Impressive! 5 stars
4/16/01 LiL This was a clever, funny, original movie with Heath Ledger. What more could you ask for?! 5 stars
4/04/01 Alias Blah! Don't bother... 1 stars
12/12/00 S McEwan Absolutley Brilliant 5 stars
7/17/00 naomi top stuff 5 stars
7/11/00 Erika GREAT movie! I'm a US fan of Heath Ledgers', and this movie is great! 5 stars
6/17/00 Dane Absolute garbage 1 stars
3/16/00 Chloe Sesta Jacobs Bryan Brown and Hetah Ledger are really good. 5 stars
2/13/00 Paul Pretty Good 4 stars
1/27/00 Clemo brilliant film that works marvellously 4 stars
11/14/99 davo a truely great australian film 5 stars
11/05/99 Mike Great fun 5 stars
11/01/99 vampuric[d]evil a wicked movie !! 5 stars
10/29/99 Kenny M Byrne is brilliant & beautiful 5 stars
10/19/99 rick not bad 4 stars
9/20/99 MOB A serious career criminal version of "The Castle". 5 stars
9/16/99 T Jamets Brilliant! 5 stars
9/15/99 MP Excellent fun. A humourous, fast-paced look at Sydney's dark-side. 4 stars
9/15/99 Angela Pinn YES 4 stars
9/04/99 Brendan Newell Australian film making at it's best (with cream on top) 5 stars
8/25/99 Kate It was pretty good. 4 stars
8/22/99 George One of the best of the year, the best Aussie film I can remember ever seeing 5 stars
8/19/99 Michael Best Aussie comedy since 'Muriel's Wedding' 5 stars
8/19/99 Danny White The wit, excitement, and shocks come thick and fast enhancing a simple and familiar plot. 4 stars
8/11/99 simmo for the masses 3 stars
8/10/99 Joanne A truly dark comedy that is very Australian and absolutely brilliant!! 5 stars
7/30/99 Meepos Not perfect by any means, but enthralling to the end and original all over. Great flick. 5 stars
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  29-Jul-1999 (MA)

Directed by
  Gregor Jordan

Written by
  Gregor Jordan

  Bryan Brown
  Rose Byrne
  Susie Porter

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