Animal Kingdom (15)
Darwin's theory of Evolution is a theme that Animal Kingdom, a gritty, urban gangster flick, commits to unravelling. In David Michod's feature debut, not everything that is strong survives – sometimes it is the weak that learn to succeed.
Teenager Joshua ‘J’ Cody (Frecheville) is thrown into a family of criminals who find themselves slowly spiraling out of control in the wake of murder, revenge and treachery.
It is the sense of creeping doom, that is the film’s heart but also it’s biggest flaw. Over-reliance on long, slow-motion close-ups almost destroys any sense of momentum, feeling more ponderous than purposeful.
The cast, in the main, are excellent, it’s just a shame that most screen time is given to a teenage boy who is frustratingly awkward and completely devoid of charisma.
In the film's opening scenes, Cody asserts that kids are wherever they are and do whatever they are doing, which unfortunately here, is very little.
James Frecheville, Guy Pearce, Ben Mendelsohn