Film review – Red Hill (2010)

5 December 2010
Red Hill: Shane Cooper (Ryan Kwanten)

Shane Cooper (Ryan Kwanten)

Starting a new job is always tough but on his first day on the local force in a small country town, police officer Shane Cooper (Ryan Kwanten) has to contend with his hostile boss Old Bill (Steve Bisley) and the imminent arrival of a very angry and very well armed escaped convict.

Red Hill is an Australian action indebted to the films of spaghetti western maestro Sergio Leone and writer/director Patrick Hughes has done a marvellous job adapting the iconography of the western to a rural Australian setting. Casting The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith lead actor Tom E. Lewis as the avenging outlaw is an interesting choice that allows Hughes to touch on issues concerning crimes against Indigenous people.

Tonally Red Hill sometimes slips awkwardly between gritty revenge thriller and something a little more self-consciously comedic with one unnecessary element that appears late in the film feeling very out of place. While the early action scenes are extremely tense and exciting, Red Hill does eventually become a slightly generic series of scenes featuring people getting blown away. Nevertheless, this is a fun film that introduces Hughes as a director to look out for.

Listen to Thomas Caldwell’s interview with writer/director Patrick Hughes.

Originally appeared in The Big Issue, No. 368, 2010

© Thomas Caldwell, 2010

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An interview with Patrick Hughes, the director of Red Hill

28 November 2010
Red Hill writer/director Patrick Hughes

Red Hill writer/director Patrick Hughes

Red Hill is an Australian thriller/action/western written, directed, produced and edited by Patrick Hughes, making his feature film debut. When I spoke to Hughes he talked about working with actors Steve Bisley and Tom E. Lewis – legends of the Australian film industry – and star on the rise, actor Ryan Kwanten. Hughes also discussed the legacy of the western and how Australia’s history and environment make it such an ideal country to set a modern day western in.

This interview was recorded on Thursday 11 November 2010 and then played on Film Buff’s Forecast (Triple R, 3RRR 102.7FM) on Saturday 27 Novmeber 2010.

Download link (interview running time = 16:21)

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