Fight Film Friday: Aussie Park Boyz

Posted: October 8, 2010 in fight film friday
Tags: ,

Aussie Park Boyz

Australia, 2004

Genre: Action, Gangster

103 minutes

A pair of Australian roughnecks find themselves caught in an ever escalating series of gang fights along the country’s multi-ethnic battle lines.


Contrary to the rave reviews printed on the DVD cover, Aussie Park Boyz is equal parts absurd, melodramatic, and altogether boring as a piece of film. The plot is hardly more than a strung together sequence of somewhat related incidents in the life of the writer/director/lead actor Nunzio La Bianca’s rough and tumble life on Oswald Park’s mean streets. The story tries to act like it has more meaning than it does, the images on screen often accompanied by La Bianca’s best Dark Knight impression, extolling something about either the dangers of being poor or some kind of commentary on the social structure of the Land Down Under. It would be difficult to imagine who would have financed the whole project, and after watching it from start to finish it quickly becomes apparent that no one did. The whole movie looks like it was shot on a handheld home video camera, and the barest hint of quality production is nowhere to be found. The photographer frequently resorts to using whatever light was available at the time of the shoot, muddying an already ruined stock of film. The score is bland and repetitive, switching back and forth between generic synthesizer beats and garage band level rock music.

The producers lay claim that the film has won such awards as Best Actor and Best Action Film at the New York International Independent Film & Video Festival, which really begs the question of how unimpressive the other entrants had to have been. None of the actors on screen seem to know what they’re doing, and frequently look either bored or confused. They all equate quality acting with shouting, and are constantly trying to one-up each other in contests of mean-mugging and tough-posing. There are a couple of really tasteless scenes dealing with rape in the middle of the second act, and seeing a pair of pale Aussie buttocks once is more than enough for me. The movie sells itself as a no-nonsense look at the realities of life in the ghetto, but I truly wonder how accurate it is that everyone in the country seems to know karate. Perhaps a native can correct me, but I find it hard to believe that people anywhere in the world live their lives the way the characters do in this film.

The fights range everywhere from fairly decent to completely stupid. It’s clear that not everyone in the cast has the same amount of martial arts experience in the choreography, which is a blend of what appear to be real functional techniques, slightly more flashy and impractical moves, and street fighting tactics. Regardless of the planning and execution of the fights, the most atrocious part of the movie was how poorly the action was filmed. Already a completely ugly looking piece of work from the start, the awkward and unappealing way the exciting parts were shot removes any chance at redemption. What I can’t get across is just how boring the whole thing was, from the acting to the action and back again. There was nothing engaging about the characters, nothing novel or interesting about the story, and nothing impressive or hard-hitting about the fights. Aussie Park Boyz is as useless as it is inept, and is only for the most self-loathing among us.

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