Cinema & Digital: Chopper (2000)
A new digital remastering of CHOPPER from the 35mm original is being released in cinemas and online for the 20th anniversary of the film.
First time Andrew Dominik, (who later went on to direct The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford), tells some of the Mark “Chopper” Read story. Dipping in an out of his life, including some bits, and ignoring others, we get a sort of ‘encapsulated’ version of this most singular man.
The real Chopper was obviously mentally unstable/disabled, he had a truly horrific childhood and was a product of it. However, Dominik’s film is filled with the most jaw dropping violence, but at the same time it’s told with dark humour and dare I say…emotion? (Chopper’s face at being stabbed by his best mate is a one of sheer disbelief and instant forgiveness and understanding).
Of course this was the role of a lifetime for Eric Bana who plays Chopper as a mad, humorous, thick, untrustworthy, murdering, terrifying criminal. Beefing up for the role, none of his good looks are on show, and he’s nothing short of magnetic in this role, as are the rest of cast.
I first watched this on it’s release 20 years ago on video, and have seen it maybe once since then. On seeing it this week it’s interesting that the film not only hasn’t aged at all, but is actually BETTER on this repeat viewing, and you appreciate Bana’s performance even more in retrospect.
A real classic of Oz cinema.
The brand new remastered version will be released in key cinemas and on digital platforms on March 25th 2022.
Review by Tina from a streaming link kindly supplied by Vertigo Releasing via Fetch Publicity.