The Boys Are Back Review: Outback More Like…
We remember the days when Clive Owen was in the running to be the next James Bond – now he’s stuck playing the worst homemaker since the Russell family decided to let Uncle Buck babysit their kids.
The Boys Are Back is a low-key yet charming Australian film about a father trying to readjust after his wife dies of cancer.
There are some understated but thorough performances to enjoy here, but the film seems quite unambitious – this is more of an emotional car journey than a tour de force.
If you’re looking for a simple and emotive tale which flows easily, this will be up your alley – it’s moving parts are executed effectively and the characters are well-drawn. However for all this poise, it is an unspectacular and suspense-less yarn.
Clive Owen is convincing as grief-stricken husband Joe Warr, a widower trying to keep his journalism job while building a new relationship with his rambunctious six-year-old son Artie.
These attempts basically involve running a pretty anarchic house in which pillow fights and water pistols are the norm. To be honest a decent super-soaker appears to be essential equipment down under.
The Aussie tourist board will be thrilled with the finished article though, (making Australia look picturesque seems as simple as machine-gunning fish in a very small barrel).
Nevertheless, the chemistry that Joe builds with his son is good and there are some memorably heart-felt scenes. However when Harry, his 15-year-old son from a previous relationship arrives on holiday from England, things get slightly more complicated.
As he soon finds out, Harry – who bears uncanny resemblance to Ron Weasley – feels disillusioned by life in blighty and like many young Brits before him, is almost immediately ensconced by life in Oz, but unsurprisingly there are some serious issues to be sorted before they can all be a family again.
And a vulnerable Clive Owen means that chicks will probably dig this..