I Saw A Film

A typical folk hero outlaw story set in Australia in the mid 19th century, and largely driven by song exposition to give the overall feel of how you’re supposed to be digesting the thing. Of course, this particular wrongfully-punished-and-turned-outlaw type adventure stars none other than Mick Jagger in his first movie role. And he’s not bad, he’s rangy and tiny enough to pass for a 19th century bushranger and Ned Kelly didn’t make it past 25, so perhaps it’s not a bad match.

As a western it works well, and as an inventive tale of wrong-doing following corrupt authority it holds water. Kelly is most famous, possibly, for creating a suit of armor to wear in his final shoot-out with the police, and that’s brought to life well. Though I have no idea what they thought they’d achieve. Optimism ran high in the outback of Australia.

I have to admit that much of the story didn’t captivate me the way I hoped it would, and I probably didn’t give it the attention it deserved. At one point, Ned jumps up with kid sister and starts chest-beating bout their “clan” and it just kind of did nothing for me.

Not long ago I watched the Johnny Depp and Christian Bale big budget Dillinger flick (2009’s Public Enemies) and I sort of felt like I’d learned everything, and appreciated everything I was going to get from watching such films. It seems like we went through a spat of rogue hero films, especially with the ridiculous Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid lark that pushed Newman and Redford like amphetamines to a public that couldn’t seem to get enough ridiculous outlaw flicks. Warren Oates played Dillinger in a 1973 classic I’ve been meaning to add to my list as well, so it appears with the attraction of Mick Jagger leading me to Ned Kelly, I’m not done. There’s also a remake of Ned Kelly to consider with the late Heath Ledger and Legolas. So, it’s not over yet. Bad boys and the ladies who love them, coming soon again.

It’s free on prime, but only for another couple of weeks!

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