Old 11-27-2000, 04:01 PM
(VIDEO)"Romper Stomper" (9/10)

"Romper Stomper" - A Brock Landers Overview of a Geoffrey Wright Film (9/10)

This was recently released in a two-disc DVD set on the same day as "Gladiator". Both films star Russell Crowe as a bad-ass mofo, but if you wanna see Crowe at his kick-ass best then definitely check "Romper Stomper" out. It is definitely not a mainstream film and most women…who have a new Austrailian heartthrob in Crowe… will be completely sickened by this flick. To watch "Romper Stomper" you need to have an open mind and a strong stomach in order to get through most of the seemingly pro-violence/pro-racist propaganda. But there is light at the end of this dark, brooding film, although that light is still pretty muted. Just remember no one is redeemed and there's no real sense of right and wrong in this film…I like to think of it as a fury filled documentary of how hate is not just an American preoccupation…remember, this is the way things are…deal with it…

"Romper Stomper" shows us what it's like growing up lower class and proud to be white in the western suburbs of Melbourne, Austrailia. The film focuses on a group of skinheads led by Hando (Russell Crowe) and his sidekick Davey (Daniel Pollock, who incidentally died shortly after the film wrapped of self-inflicted wounds due to his inability to kick a bad heroin habit). This anarchic gang of self-reliant, angst-ridden youths has marked the growing Vietnamese population in their city as the reason for all of their problems…and there is plenty of trouble when they come across any Vietnamese.

Hando meets a pretty young thing named Gabe (Jacqueline McKenzie) one night and really digs her. She has her own problems, as she has a heroin habit and a dad who doesn't know when to draw the line with your daughter, sexually speaking. But at this point, Hando saves her from all her worries and initiates her into his drunken world, full of blood soaked Nazi flags, immigrant bashing and spontaneous looting. Will they find love and have a good life? Don't bet on it…

Things get more and more complicated when Davey starts making eyes at Gabe, and the gang goes on the lamb after they learn that the minority they have picked to trash is no minority at all. The Vietnamese in this film are a seething mass of people who are tired of being the hunted and want revenge…bad news for our "heroes". Slowly but surely, everyone learns from their mistakes…in most cases in this film, the lesson is death…

The direction is first-rate and the writing is superb, but it is the acting that will really blow you away. The violence in it is pure and hate filled moments of rage…as well as giving a non-stop pummeling to the viewer…I dug it though and thought it was a great endorsement for Doc Marten boots. The sex scenes are the opposite of tender and loving…like a wild rutting better suited for Gonzo Porn (and one of the sessions looks pretty damn real. Considering the two participants were dating at the time, maybe it was. You figure out which one). The DVD case has a quote using the words "you'll be blown away", and it is an understatement to say the least. Just imagine the "Reservoir Dogs" ear scene spread over a 93-minute running time and you'll have a pretty decent picture of what "Romper Stomper" entails…it's still my favorite Russell Crowe film and the two-disc set does a decent job of showing it off…although I still don't understand why it is two-discs…the extras suck…
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Old 11-27-2000, 08:45 PM
Wow, what a fantastic review of an utterly superb movie. I must admit that I myself don't have much taste for violence and bloodshed in movies (although my fav movie is Fight Club [img]/ubb/smile.gif[/img] But this movie really struck a chord with me, as it doesn't seem to glorify and heroise (is that a word) it, it simply shows it as it is. And Crowe is just brilliant as always. I really can't top what Brock said so I just recommend you see it ASAP!
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Old 11-28-2000, 03:35 AM
The thing about Romper Stomper is not it’s morally ambivalent view of racism, but the way it tries to entice us with it’s high-energy sequences near the beginning. The use of the ‘Oi!’ music only heightens the sense that something exciting is happening. Of course after enticing us with this world Wright shows us how the moral decline effects their whole lives and how truly empty and pathetic that life is. And sets the scene for a truly downbeat denouement.
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Old 11-28-2000, 10:28 AM
I completely agree with both of you...the film is brilliant, charismatic, manipulative, depressing and dark. I love movies that end badly...so to speak. I mean, I really get sick of happy endings where everything turns out rosy. Of course, the best thing about "Romper Stomper" is not the climax, or rather anti-climax, but the getting there that sucks me in and pumps me up. As wrong as the actions are onscreen, there is something primitive and real that grabs me by the throat and kicks me in the balls...call it masculine...call it self-depracating...call it self-destruction...call it what you will. To smash...to vandalize...to devastate...to eradicate...to destroy...to crush...to batter...to pound...to burst...to crack...to shatter...to pulverize...to grind...to waste...to ruin...to ravage...to plunder, these are a few of my favorite things...OI!

"Self Improvement Is Masturbation" - Tyler Durden / FIGHT CLUB

[This message has been edited by Brock Landers (edited 11-28-2000).]
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Old 12-02-2000, 12:05 PM
I really like Romper Stomper, I saw it about three years ago.

Technically this film is like a low budget Hitchcock film. The camera work is perfect, using hand-held during the rumbles really cranks up the tension and puts you in the middle of the action. Very gritty, very realistic.

I don't remember much more except that eerie feeling that lasted for a couple of hours after the film ended.
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Old 02-08-2001, 03:47 AM
<moderator bump>
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Old 05-21-2001, 07:19 PM
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