I just love Australian crime movies and Gettin’ Square is a perfect example of why I love them. It’s upbeat, vibrant, and features an extremely well-written script. Something that’s not surprising when you consider the fact that Chris Nyst, who wrote it, is a prominent criminal lawyer. This makes all the events we’re about to see feel authentic and realistic. Like something that actually happened. And yet there’s this dreamy and juicy atmosphere floating in the air. I can’t quite describe it.
However, I do have to admit that the story is a bit too convoluted in the beginning. You just need to stick with it for about 45 minutes you’ll be greatly rewarded. Gettin’ Square struggles to establish the main characters during that time but the storytelling is spot on. This is where you feel Guy Ritchie’s influence the most. Especially when you add the whole heist element to the story. And you can bet your sweet ass that we’ll be meeting a bunch of bizarre and funny characters. Chicka and Dabba guarantee that.
The cast of Gettin’ Square is fantastic, led by young Sam Worthington and experienced Timothy Spall who brought some of that English crime vibes with him. However, David Wenham stole the show here as the hapless junkie Spit. Every time you see him enter a scene you know it’s going to be a good one. The courthouse exchange was just so fucking funny that I couldn’t stop laughing. Who knew that Faramir had it in him?
Wattsy just got out of jail after serving long eight years for a murder he didn’t commit. He kept his mouth shut and did his time honoring the unspoken criminal code of honor. Wattsy doesn’t want to end up in jail again but getting a job is quite difficult when you’re an ex-con.
At the same time, another criminal wants to “get squared”. Dabba is running a restaurant that’s not working so well and he’s struggling with losing weight. Faith will put these two men together in the most unusual way. Or should I say, Spit will put them together.
After a furious opening five minutes, we settle into this steady pace that continues ’till the end. I want you to pay close attention to what happens in that short intro because it will become important later in the movie. I only wish they slowed this part a bit down so we could get what’s happening. However, it set the mood for what’s about to come perfectly.
From a technical standpoint, Gettin’ Square is an excellent movie. Camera angles are odd but not too odd and cinematography brought to life the joys of sunny Australian beaches. If nothing else, the setting sets it apart from its gloomy British counterparts. If you’re looking for a similar movie, I recommend you check out another awesome Australian crime/comedy Two Hands.
Director: Jonathan Teplitzky
Writer: Chris Nyst
Cast: Sam Worthington, David Wenham, Timothy Spall, Freya Stafford, Gary Sweet, David Roberts, David Field
Fun Facts: The guy with all the tattoos you can see during the pool scene is actually Tim Sharky Ward. He’s a former loan shark (hence the nickname) and currently a wanted man in Australia. You can read more about him in this Daily Mail article: Australia’s toughest gangster shopping on the Gold Coast.