Today: February 25, 2024

Tracker

Ray Winstone goes local in this period adventure.

Ray Winstone goes
local in this period adventure
.

Historical dramas
are a tricky genre to nail. On the one hand you end up with a run away success
in the vein of The King’s Speech, on the other you end up with a film that
feels like a made for TV event. Unfortunately Tracker falls into the later category.

Arjan (Winstone)
is an ex-Boer War Guerilla fighter. Having lost his family during the war he
now makes his living as a professionally Tracker. Arriving in New Zealand, in 1903, he is
commissioned by the British Army, those he fought against in the war, to hunt
down a suspected murder. The problem is that said murder, Kereama (Morrison),
is innocent of the charges and is simply trying to get back to his family. Before
long the two men are at war with each other while also learning to respect their
proud ways.

Although the
opening scenes of Tracker are shot in very questionably built sets the film
stumbles along once it gets out into the wide-open country of New Zealand. As
with Peter Jackson’s Lord Of The Rings films the landscape is stunning to
behold.

The same cannot
be said about the script. For one thing ‘tracking’ seems to consist of little
more than rubbing the dirt and looking pensively at the surroundings. Early on
in the film Arjan spends much of his time by himself which apparently equates
to him commentating on everything that is going on around him, something which
we can see clearly for ourselves. Director Ian Sharp makes the most of the lush
setting but his direction often feels flat and lacking in any kind of tone or
atmosphere.

Both Winstone and
Morrison give nice turns, relying heavily on their graveling tones and gruff
looks. The film is at its best when these two are allowed to spar with each
other instead of falling into a Midnight Run(1988) style situation minus the
comedy.

Despite lush scenery
and weathered faces Tracker fails to find the scent. A period setting First
Blood
(1982) in many ways this is one for die hard Winstone fans but others
will feel lost rather than found.

To Buy Tracker On DVD Click Here Or On Blu-Ray Click Here

Alex Moss Editor

Alex Moss’ obsession with film began the moment he witnessed the Alien burst forth from John Hurt’s stomach. It was perhaps ill-advised to witness this aged 6 but much like the beast within Hurt, he became infected by a parasite called ‘Movies’. Rarely away from his computer or a big screen, as he muses on Cinematic Deities, Alex is “more machine now than man. His mind is twisted and evil”. Email: alex.moss@filmjuice.com

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