DENNIS SCHWARTZ Movie Reviews

DARK AGE (director: Arch Nicholson; writer: Sonia Borg/based on a novel by Grahame Webb; cinematographer: Andrew Lesnie; editor: Adrian Carr; music: Danny Beckerman; cast: John Jarratt (Steve Harris), Burnam Burnam (Oonabund), Nikki Coghill (Cathy Pope), Max Phipps (John Besser), Ray Meagher (Rex Garrett), Gulpilil (Adjaral) ; Runtime: 90; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Basil Appleby; Nelson (Embassy Pictures); 1987-Australia)

"It's well-produced and acted, and an intelligent environmental adventure film results."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

It follows along the lines of Jaws, though dated. Aussie TV director Arch Nicholson ("Weekend with Kate") tries to creatively direct it, but lacks the talent to pull it off. It's based on the novel by Grahame Webb and adapted to the screen by Sonia Borg.  It's about a giant killer crocodile on the loose in Queensland, with poachers and park rangers in pursuit.

Steve Harris (John Jarratt) is the park ranger for the Northern Territory Salt Water Crocodile population, in the Australian outback. When the large croc called Saltie, kills two poachers, Steve and his two guides pursue it. The town officials want the rogue crocodile killed and hope that will return the tourists to the area. But the local Koori elders want the Croc rescued and returned to a safe area, because they say he has special virtues of ESP.  This comes even after the Croc eats a child in a native village. The irate town officials bring in insensitive hunters, who randomly kill any croc. Steve sides with the Aborigine elder Oonabund (Burnam Burnam) and risks everything to capture the special Croc alive and return it to its homeground.

It's well-produced and acted, and an intelligent environmental adventure film results.

REVIEWED ON 3/20/2016       GRADE: B-

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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