IN LIKE FLYNN
Biopic about Errol Flynn's roust-about early life in Australia, before he became an internationally famed celebrity. In those days he was an adventurer, opium smuggler, gambler, street fighter, womanizer and gold prospector.
Review by Louise Keller:
More extraordinary than any fictional film script, this 'mostly true' account of Errol Flynn's exploits before Hollywood days is a ripper. Buoyed by David Hirschfelder's superb music score that captures the spirit of the swashbuckling, handsome adventurer, Russell Mulcahy has crafted a wonderfully entertaining film filled with exotic locations, action and surprises. Adapted from Flynn's book 'Beam Ends', In Like Flynn is a wonderful surprise. Who knew that Flynn's appetite for life led him down such a colourful path? Aussie actor Thomas Cocquerel is perfectly cast as the charismatic Lothario, whose easy charm endears him to both men and women, his down to earth practicality countering his daring spirit.
In a striking opening sequence, we free-fall into the action, as we meet Flynn (Cocquerel) guiding Hollywood filmmaker Joel Swartz (Dan Fogler) through the dense, lush jungles of 1930 Papua New Guinea. Gigantic deadly spiders are not the only things about which to be concerned; bloody mayhem erupts while being chased by local savages. It is in these scenes that we understand there is a depth to Flynn, who is affected by the death of a young native he is unable to save. 'Civilisation no longer agrees with me,' he retorts to the filmmakers, who laughingly suggest they will lure him to Hollywood one day.
We hardly have time to catch our breath as Flynn navigates barroom brawls, opium dens, high stake poker games, Chinese smugglers, corrupt cops and fight clubs - all during the Depression. There is a pretty girl everywhere and Flynn finds them all - like a bee in search of nectar. 'Words spread faster than legs in this bathhouse'.
The sailing sequences (onboard the sleek yacht, Sirocco - stolen from Chinese opium smugglers) are among the film's best, when the camaraderie between the unlikely crew that Flynn develops, as they set out on the high seas in search of gold. Key to the emotional curve of the film is the relationship between Flynn and Charlie (Clive Standen, a standout), the grizzled old salt with whom Flynn has a connection. The dialogue zings: 'There is nothing like a stiff ocean breeze on your back'; 'there is always a new horizon' and 'I have a genius for living'.
Watch for David Wenham as the sleazy harbour master who doubles as the mayor of Townsville (amongst other things) and Isabel Lucas is not just a pretty face as one of the girls Flynn has loved before. Production values are excellent and the Queensland locations shine. Peter Holland's cinematography beautifully captures both the tranquility and turbulence of the sea.
It's a rollicking ride and we become seduced by the heroic central character. The film made me want to know more and whet my appetite as we get a glimpse into the background of one of Hollywood's first action movie heroes.
Email this article
IN LIKE FLYNN (PG)
CAST: Thomas Cocquerel, Corey Large, William Moseley, David Wenham, David Hennessey, Isabel Lucas, Nathalie Kelley, Grace Huang, Costas Mandylor, Vanessa Moltzen, Clive Standen, Callan Mulvey
PRODUCER: Corey Large, James M. Vernon
DIRECTOR: Russell Mulcahy
SCRIPT: Steve M Albert (novel 'Beam Ends' by Errol Flynn)
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Peter Holland
EDITOR: Rodrigo Balart
MUSIC: David Hirschfelder
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Nicholas McCallum
RUNNING TIME: 98 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Umbrella
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: October 11, 2018