Writer: Leigh Whannell, Angus Sampson, Jaime Browne (Screenplay)
Starring: Hugo Weaving, Angus Sampson, Leigh Whannell, Ewen Leslie, Geoff Morrell, Georgina Haig, Noni Hazlehurst
Plot: After a trip to Thailand, a first-time drug mule finds himself in police custody, with his stomach crammed with narcotics. Now, he has to endure seven sphincter-clenching days to convince them of his innocence. Will nature take its course?
Tagline – It’s what’s inside that counts.
Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Fun Crime Comedy
Story: The Smuggler starts when a small town football team honour Ray Jenkins (Sampson), with the prize being a trip to Thailand with Gavin (Whannell) using this trip as chance to smuggle drugs back to Australia.
Getting home turns out to be more difficult as Ray is detained and held by Detective Croft (Weaving) as they wait for him to unload the drugs he has been smuggling, refusing to give away the people he is working for as Gavin desperately searches for Ray and the drugs.
Thoughts on The Smuggler
Characters – Ray Jenkins is the good-natured man that has been playing for his local football team for years, he gets honoured for this and talked into joining the team on a tour of Thailand, he gets forced into helping the teammates smuggle drugs back into the country, only he gets caught and refuses to give up either the drugs or the people he is working for. Det Croft is the man watching over Ray, he wants the case closed quickly and will do anything to push Ray to him limits. Gavin is the vice-captain of the football team and is the one that pushes Ray into taking part in the smuggling, only needing to hunt him down once he is captured. We do get the criminal who are after their drugs, lawyers that want to support Ray and other detectives trying to get the truth.
Performances – Angus Sampson is great in the leading role showing the slower side of his character, while dealing with the intense pain his character is going through. Hugo Weaving is always a class act in film with his character being everything he needs to be through the film, with the rest of the cast doing a strong job through the film.
Story – The story here follows a good-natured man tricked into becoming a drug smuggler only to get caught and held by authorities waiting for him to empty out the drugs in a dangerous game of cat-n-mouse. This is based on a true story, it does show how people might well take advantage of people and how authorities will do anything to prove somebody is guilty. We see how Ray will do what he can to stay ahead of the game despite the pain he is going through and just how much damage is being done to the people. It does reflect how being held in custody can be questioned on how legal it all is.
Comedy/Crime – The comedy isn’t as strong as it could be through the film, while the crime side is often in the background to what Ray is going through.
Settings – The film uses the hotel to show the containment Ray finds himself trapped in, this does work well, while the small town setting shows us just a small ring could operate in.
Scene of the Movie – Ray’s final move.
Final Thoughts – This is an interesting crime film that does show us a story which would have seen an intense level of determination to not give up the material they have.
Overall: Silly Crime Comedy.