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Chopper (2000)

  Directed by: Andrew Dominik
Starring: Eric Bana
Links: Chopper on the IMDb, Buy on DVD, Buy on Video
Genre: Based on True Story

This movie gets: 9.00 (2 ratings)
nofreelist.com Ranking: Ranked equal 14th of 187 movies (2 ratings minimum; see full chart)

Chopper (2000) is also mentioned in pearly's review of The Hard Word (2002).

"Gripping stuff" - a review by andy-j

I read the first couple of Chopper books a number of years ago, and having gotten a good idea what sort of character he was, I was greatly looking forward to seeing it.

It is loosely based on the Chopper books, telling the story of Mark Brandon Read, a notorious Melbourne criminal, over a period of about 12 years. It starts off in prison, then jumps forward a number of years to Chopper's release, where he has to readjust to life on the outside, as well as deal with the increasing threat of some long-time enemies who have put a price on his head.

The first thing that struck me about this film was the acting. Eric Bana absolutely makes the film, playing the part of Chopper Read to perfection. He is absolutely and totally believable, dominating every single scene with his presence. You never think for a second that you're watching Eric Bana, a well-known Australian comedian. You believe you're watching Mark Chopper Read. He is a truly frightening character - a psychopath - who can turn at any minute. His presence causes everyone he is around to be constantly on-edge and tense (including the audience). But at the same time, Chopper can be a very funny and lovable ruffian - in many ways he's a real clown. His unpredictable nature was what kept the film so involving throughout. You just don't know how Chopper is going to react in a situation, and just when you think you've got him figured out, he lays a huge surprise on you (I guess that's what has kept the real-life Chopper one step ahead of his enemies all this time). The filmmakers take full advantage of this fact, and use it to build a huge amount of tension.

Humour is used throughout to great effect, both to add depth to the characters and to lull the audience into a false sense of security. Chopper's an absolute clown. After shooting a guy in the stomach for no good reason, he apologises to him and drives him to the hospital. Then denies that he ever drove him to the hospital (which yields the hilarious line "what do I look like? Mark 'Medicare' Read?"). I swear, I will never get tired of it.

I love this movie. It's not the sort of film I tire of easily. The characters are some of the most memorable and powerful I have ever seen, the drama is gripping, the pacing is fantastic and it makes me laugh just thinking about it. What a potent cocktail!

andy-j gives this movie 9 out of 10.
Review last updated on Sat 25 May 2002

Movie review statistics

Ratings given without reviews:

Number of reviews: 1
Number of ratings: 2
Average rating: 9.00
Lowest rating: 9 (by pearly, andy-j)
Highest rating: 9 (by pearly, andy-j)
 
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Reader comments

  1. well, short, but sweet. Just don't expect a guy with no shirt on killing ppl, he wears a shirt and kill ppl!AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHa

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from CHopper on Sun 28 Sep 2003 15:57 #

  2. great movie

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from poodleoodle on Fri 11 Nov 2005 09:38 #

Those who have commented give this movie: 10.00 (2 ratings)

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