Two Hands (1999)

Directed & Written by Gregor Jordan

Heath Ledger, Bryan Brown, Rose Byrne, David Field, Tom Long, Suzie Porter, Steve Vidler, Moya O’Sullivan, Mariel McClorey.

Jimmy (the late Ledger) is a 19 year old bouncer on Kings Cross, Sydney – who is about to do a job for the local mobster Pando (Brown). The job; to take $10k to a client of his. When she dies moments before he knocks on the door, Jimmy decides to take a quick dip in the ocean to cool off before heading back, and the money is stolen by two youths. Fearing for his life, he goes into hiding, and Pando swears revenge. Soon they are playing cat and mouse with each other, with Jimmy planning a bank robbery to get the money back.

Feature film directorial debut from Jordan isn’t a ‘new idea’ – but it is a decent enough telling with some typically Australian performances. The budget is way lower than that of a low rate direct to DVD, and in terms of quality – it is much better than some of those.

It is very much a product of its time too, and there are some colloquialisms such as getting film developed, and the use of payphones etc.

There are some darkly comedic moments, and most of those come from Brown who plays the main antagonist Pando. His ‘one eighty’ change to a loving father from his mob boss is genuinely hilarious – especially with the origami scenes.

Ledger was just starting out his life in Hollywood when he shot this, with is ‘big break’ 10 Things I Hate About You coming out weeks after this. It is still saddening that he is no longer with us, and one can only wonder what his career would have been like if his life was not cut so tragically short.

Even at 89 minutes, there did seem to be a little bit of a drag in the middle, and I think there could have been something added to break this down. I enjoyed the final few moments where the two crossing storylines finally intersect.

This is still an enjoyable movie, and worth a watch if you haven’t already.



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