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Thunderstruck (2004)

  Directed by: Darren Ashton
Written by: Darren Ashton, Shaun Angus Hall
Starring: Stephen Curry, Damon Gameau, Ryan Johnson, Callan Mulvey, Sam Worthington
Links: Thunderstruck on the IMDb, Official site
Genre: Drama
Awards: AFI Awards: Best Film 2004 (nominee)

This movie gets: 4.00 (1 rating)
nofreelist.com Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

"Same old, same old" - a review by pearly

A film about five AC/DC fans. Tempting, tempting stuff. Ahh well, free ticket-holders can't be choosers.

The story goes like this: five young friends attend an AC/DC gig, and on their way home, the taxi that they nearly got into is crushed under a truck. Seeing this as some sort of sign, and caught up in the moment, they each vow that when the first of them dies, they will bury him next to AC/DC singer Bon Scott's grave.

Cut to 12 years later. Sonny (Damon Gameau) is a loser who still lives at home, Ben (Stephen Curry) is stuck in a dead-end job at a supermarket, where he can't even manage to get it together to ask out the girl he likes, Lloyd (Ryan Johnson) is dealing drugs, and, when Ronnie (Sam Worthington) dies, Sam (Callan Mulvey) becomes the one to get the others to fulfill their pact.

Thunderstruck is just like any other Australian comedy out there at the moment. It's about a couple of losers who do some vaguely funny loserish stuff, and then manage to do something amazing which pulls themselves out of loserdom by the end of the film. It's not that this is particularly worse or better than any other film that's similar, it just happens to be the way that Australian films are going at the moment. Besides the fact that this has gotten a little repetitive, it's okay with me - I like comedies about losers.

What I don't like is stupid overcharacterisation. Where is the rule written that every Australian film has to have a "wog" character who plays up on his accent, is played by, invariably, George Kapiniaris (or someone just as terrible), and who has a dumb double-meaning name like Mr. Koytis? It's not funny, people! It stopped being funny around the time Acropolis Now was axed (and by around, I mean way way before). This particular character was the boss at the supermarket where Ben worked: not a particularly important character, and way too over-the-top for this sideline role. The smaller characters can often be the lifeline of a great film (especially for a comedy), but this character just annoyed the hell outta me.

As for the lead characters, I couldn't stand Ryan Johnson's character. He acted it out in exactly the same way as he did his character in The Wannabes (2003), which is definitely a bad thing. There's something inherently annoying about Johnson, I can't imagine liking him in any role whatsoever. Similarly, Curry, who I've liked in the past, only seems to be able to do one thing: I think he peaked with The Castle (1997). Gameau has a little bit of charisma, he was probably the best of the bunch.

Thunderstruck is not the worst Australian comedy I've ever seen, but it's not really even worth watching unless you're particularly interested in Australian comedies. And while I'm speaking of Thunderstruck, let me ask something. What is the song supposed to mean? How do you get thunderstruck? Surely the thing that does the striking is the lightning. What's up with that, AC/DC?

pearly gives this movie 4 out of 10.
Review created on Tue 29 Jun 2004

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Reader comments

  1. i thought it was bloody awsome!!! and i absolutely love ryan johnson as lloyd

    Rating given: 9

    A comment from estelle on Tue 06 Jul 2004 02:12 #

  2. I really like this movie, I couldn't help my self from laughing after i saw it as my friends and i were talking about it. So well donr

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from vicky on Thu 15 Jul 2004 20:04 #

  3. Well done. I lived it.

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from Martin on Thu 15 Jul 2004 20:05 #

  4. you have no idea about comedy you dumb fuck. thats why australian comedies are where they are today. no one is interested in taking a risk.tell me one successful comical characcter which isn't larger than life. i suggest you contact me soon you cock sucker so we can discuss this further. why dont you take a fucking risk and do something funny. i dare you. and make sure you let me know when its on and i'll be there you critisizing coward. time to support the industry, not burn every little thing about it.

    A comment from george kapiniaris on Tue 03 Aug 2004 14:45 #

  5. dis was an awsome movie. dat guy who reviewed it is a total wanker. fuk u!!!!

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from jess on Sun 23 Jan 2005 19:53 #

  6. Hi guys, just a small comment on what I thought about this film. I liked it, but I'm not going to get angry at the critic (pearly?). I see no reason why some of the other people had to go hyper over a bad review. We have different feelings about different things, so I say good work pearly, but I have to say I really liked the way that the four friends were shown, before the pledge and after it, and maybe that type of Australian film is a little old (we've seen it all before) but I still click with it. So, kudos to you pearly for giving an honest opinion, but I rate this film pretty high anyway.
    (P.S, that george is a bit high strung and angry, eh?)

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from Patrick on Fri 18 Mar 2005 17:11 #

  7. *uh hum* well..... I cannot say I have seen this movie, but since past comments seem to criticise Pearly? I WILL TOO!!!!! PRO AUSSIE!!!!! GO MOVIES!!!!! DOWN WITH THE PEARL!!!!!!! ALL HAIL MONKEYS WITH ROLLARSKATES!!!!!
    *uh hum* I also fe4el though, that if you are gonna be a psycho, because you think you know EVERYTHING about comedy, and tell other ppl that they are gay, or swear at them, makes YOU a DICKWAD!!!!!!!

    A comment from Thomas on Fri 18 Mar 2005 17:14 #

  8. This a cool little Aussie flick. Very funny I love Robbo and Simmo. The Aust media is what is bringing down the film industry. Should be more films out there like this one. Don't know what they were thinking when they realeased the film. Put a small bugdet film up agaigist Troy, Vanhelsinc and the The day after tommorow how is a small aussie fick meant to compete with monster flicks like that. Thats why i waited to see it on DVD. Check this film out if you like a good laugh. Make sure you watch right to the end of the credits too. Good laugh at the end.

    Rating given: 9

    A comment from billy on Sun 24 Apr 2005 00:57 #

  9. I loved this movie! Damon Gameau is a pissa and what to say about Steve Curry! I thought it was great.

    Rating given: 9

    A comment from Jess on Fri 07 Apr 2006 20:05 #

  10. OMG i loved this movie...hot aussie blokes travelling together and discovering mateship all over again...bugger anyone who can't find joy in such a kickass movie! You'll need to lighten up!

    Rating given: 9

    A comment from Casey on Tue 26 Sep 2006 14:22 #

Those who have commented give this movie: 9.50 (8 ratings)

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