I have to confess up front the only reason I wanted to see MYSTERY ROAD is because Hugo Weaving and Ryan Kwanten are in it. The plot sounded good, however I wanted to see the mentioned actors in other roles besides those they are most popular for (i.e. Jason from TRUE BLOOD, Agent Smith from THE MATRIX, etc.). But wow, I got so much more than I was expecting. This film is a top-notch, well made thriller that will keep you guessing.
If you are not familiar with MYSTERY ROAD, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Well Go USA:
Indigenous cowboy detective Jay Swan returns to his outback hometown to solve the murder of a teenage girl, whose body is found under the highway trucking route out of town. Alienated from both the white-dominated police force and his own community, including his teenage daughter (now connected to the murdered girl) Jay stands alone in his determination to fight back – for his town, and his people.
There are so many things to like about this movie. It is shot very well, and the cinematography does a great job of capturing the isolated yet beautiful landscape of Australia. This particular aspect alone is enough to make me recommend this film. But there’s much more about it to appreciate.
The acting in MYSTERY ROAD is excellent, with Aaron Pederson leading up a stellar cast. I’ve never seen Pederson’s work before, however he is a major talent. And, as expected, Weaving and Kwanten do not disappoint; both are at the top of their game in this film. I am also excited to see Bruce Spence onscreen. I’ve enjoyed his work since THE ROAD WARRIOR, way back in the early 80s.
But the biggest winner for me is the story. With a tone reminiscent of TRUE DETECTIVE, the case of the murdered girl unfolds with craftsman-like precision. And when things really get going, the intensity never lets up. The conclusion wraps up nicely, however I do not want to mention any specific details. This is a film you definitely must see to appreciate.
MYSTERY ROAD is a big win for me, and I highly recommend it. Some viewers might find the Australian accents a bit thick, so subtitles might be a good idea here and there. But definitely check this one out soon.