Saturday, 27 November 2010

Film Review: THE BOYS ARE BACK (2009)

Director: Scott Hicks
Running time: 100 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 12A

UK release date: 22nd January 2010

Watched on Sky+ Saturday 27th November 2010.


I remember when this came out it attracted some good reviews so I decided I’d see what all the fuss was about when it turned up on TV recently. It is set, for the most part, in Australia and is based on a true story. Now, how much was invented for the film is up for debate, but still, it is quite an engaging tale. More of my thoughts later, but here’s a short summary first (summary haters please have an impromptu ride on the front of a 4x4 down the beach while I write the next paragraph).

Sports writer Joe Warr has never spent much time at home, so when his wife, Katy, dies suddenly he struggles to come to terms with bringing up his seven year old son Artie. Joe is very much a free spirit and allows Artie to do pretty much what he likes, within certain rules, of course. And when Joe’s son from a previous marriage, Harry, comes to stay from England, things don’t seem to get much easier. Harry has problems of his own. Joe had divorced his mother when he was only six and left to be with Artie’s mother, who was pregnant. Although he has support from Katy’s parents, Joe still wants to bring the boys up on his own. He gets some help from a single mother at Artie’s school, Laura, but it gets a bit tense between them. Joe is called away with work and Harry is left to look after Artie. Things don’t quite go according to plan and after an incident at the house Harry heads back to England. Unknown to Joe, the boys had formed a strong bond while he was away. Is this bond strong enough to bring the boys back together? I’ll end my summary here; don’t want to give too much away.

Although it has a very slow pace I found this film quite enjoyable to watch. All the characters are quite engaging, although I get the feeling a lot of Artie’s part was ad-libbed. Pretty good performances all round, so honourable mentions go to; Clive Owen as Joe Warr, Emma Booth as Laura, Laura Fraser as Katy, George MacKay as Harry and Nicholas McAnulty as Artie.

Over all, it’s a pretty well made film with lots of shots of the Australian outback to give a real sense of location. I still have to see a film where Clive Owen doesn’t get beaten up at some point. If I was him I’d be having a word with my agent! But I digress; it’s quite an engaging tale which very slowly evolves, so you’ll need a little patience to watch this one, but still recommended.

My score: 6.4/10

IMDb Page:
Official Site:

1 comment:

Sparky said...

Haven't seen it, but it looks just so so from your review. Maybe if I get time down the road. Nice review.