Director Gregor Jordan doesn’t exactly squander his post-Buffalo Soldiers reputation with his take on the Outback outlaw. But the results are as mixed as some of its Oirish accents, with the romanticised mythologising, nature-based lyricism and rain-soaked shoot-outs never quite gelling.
Heath Ledger does okay as the formidable, furry-faced folk hero, turning in a vigorous performance as the farmhand bare-knuckle boxer and splendid Robin Hood-ish rebel. In tow is Orlando Bloom, his grizzly outlaw proving less successful than his elvish archer in Lord Of The Rings.
Combine that with a top-drawer supporting cast (Geoffrey Rush, Naomi Watts, Rachel Griffiths) being wasted on cut-out characters, and the film loses balance. Still, at least Jordan keeps it atmospheric with his eye for rugged landscapes, muddy roads and shabby suits.