Back Tracker, The
No film notes
class rating
Tuesday, 23 August 2005 at 7:00pm
  • Colour

In this New Zealand-set period adventure that unfolds like a Kiwi western, an embittered Boer War veteran tracks down a Maori seaman wanted for murdering a British soldier. Kereama (Temuera Morrison, of Once Were Warriors fame) is innocent of the crime, however, and fears rough justice at the hands of the colonial administration, while pursuer Arjan van Diemen (Ray Winstone, doing pretty well in the accent stakes) is taking the job primarily for the reward, after losing his family and farm during the Boer War. It's pretty obvious that hunter and hunted will eventually realise they have much in common, but this efficient chase story does well to deliver sundry twists and turns along the way, with Morrison and Winstone more than equal to the physicality and wry humour their roles demand. If the characters' attitudes sometimes seem slightly too modern, the writing is admirably respectful of complex motivations and faiths of all shades, while the magnificent New Zealand landscapes provide a spectacular backdrop. Ultimately, the drama's more satisfying than exciting, but it's a solid entertainment nonetheless.


Rolf de Heer