Starring: Sam Worthington, Xavier Samuel, Lesley-Ann Brandt, Steve Bastoni, Laura Fairclough (Rated M – 106 min).
The glorious surrounds of southern Western Australia is the scenic location for Drift – a surfing drama set during the 1970’s complete with tunes from Credence Clearwater Revival and T-Rex.
Passionate surfers the Kelly brothers, Andy (Myles Pollard) and Jimmy (Xavier Samuel), moved from Sydney to the Margaret River with their mum as children to embark on a new life. In an area where the wine flows as free as the waves, dangerous conditions only add to the boys’ ambition to paddle into the most imposing swells possible. Deciding to quit what they call ‘boring’ jobs, their notorious nature helps to decide a launch of a backyard business involving casual surf wear and a rethink of superior wetsuit design.
Younger brother Jimmy gets mixed up with local gang members finding himself in all sorts of dilemmas that pushes the boundaries of community spirit and family values. A nasty drug dealer, seemingly played with relish by veteran Steve Bastoni, makes for an imposing nemesis to unlucky Jimmy. In desperate need of a haircut and a visit from the fashion police, Sam Worthington (Avatar) is a likable drifter, but his purpose in the actual plot is kind of vague. Lovely South African born, New Zealand resident actress, Lesley-Ann Brandt, is a talent to watch. Her romantic involvement holds the more serious issues together.
Xavier, now a global heartthrob thanks to his role in the Twilight saga, is not here for his acting ability, rather to rise the libido of an adoring audience. I’m all for supporting Australian films, but the only real incentive to see ‘Drift’, which regrettably has a definitive TV movie aura about it, is the excellent oceanic photography of the high flying surfing. Questionable acting aside, professional big wave rider and former Terrigal High student, Ross Clarke-Jones, makes a welcome cameo. Nothing more than a good looking time filler. However, the shameless happy ending all but ruins the dramatic build up that came before it. You be the judge.
© Shane A. Bassett