In Like Flynn, the latest offering from iconic Australian director Russel Mulcahy is a bumpy ride. Mulcahy, whose credits include Razorback, Highlander, Resident Evil: Extinction, the underrated Give ‘em Hell Malone among a host of music videos and other feature films gives it his best, but never really gets the film off the ground.
Based on his adventures before his rise to superstardom, Flynn (Thomas Cocquerel) starts off in Papua New Guinea as a fearless guide for two American film producers (Dan Fogler and B-grade movie icon Lachlan Munro) who are looking to film some stock footage of an indigenous tribe. The opening sequence is very Indiana Jones like and is a lot of fun, although quite violent. It was surprising to say the least. From there Flynn, heads back to the mainland and finds himself on the run from two groups of gangsters. He escapes with friends Dook (William Mosely) and Rex (Corey Large – also the films co-screenwriter) along with new acquaintance Charlie (Clive Standon). The group navigate the eastern coast of Australia in a yacht that may or may not be stolen on the way back to Papua New Guinea – and hopefully gold.
Cocquerel is absolutely fantastic as Flynn, he is charismatic, bold, tough and has a bright future. His efforts in the opening scene in Papua New Guinea reminded me of Indiana Jones, and it had me excited for the rest of the film. William Mosely is also in top form as Dook, a crack shot with the pistol and a level head. Corey Large also puts in a competent performance as a seasoned boxer. Unfortunately, Clive Standon, playing an unenthused drunk, puts in about as much effort as one. His performance is boring, and at times he is a dead ringer for Dominic Purcell.
In Like Flynn also stars a host of home grown talent including David Wenham (Three Dollars), Nathalie Kelley (The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift), Isabel Lucas (Daybreakers), Nathan Jones (Troy), Callan Mulvey (The Hunter), Costas Mandylor (Virtuosity) and Andy McPhee (The Condemned). As you can see, the casting agency certainly went all out with its casting and tries to do the same with its production.
While the film is quite exciting in the beginning – bar fights, brawls, poker and adventure – it sadly fizzles out about half way through when the crew gets out to sea. The pacing changes, the dialogue changes, and it becomes quite the bore. A quick stop in at Townsville brings a bit of fun back into it, but David Wenham’s slimy character puts an abrupt end to it. From there the seafaring continues until its tragic and sudden ending.
In Like Flynn starts, promising a good time and a grand adventure, however with the off pacing it almost feels like a large scale TV show or mini-series. To be honest I think the biopic should have been a mini-series as it tries to fit in too much, more than it can handle. It also should have expanded on the time in Papua New Guinea and Townsville, where it let a lot of fun and interesting characters come and go without enough attention, choosing to spend too much time on the ocean with only the four main characters. While they’re all interesting in their own right, aside from Errol, they do not have enough presence to warrant the amount of screen time they get, which is where I found it got overly boring.
In Like Flynn is not a terrible film but it’s also not a good film, it is one of those stuck in between ones where you watch it and keep on moving without really thinking too much about it.
Director: Russell Mulcahy
Cast: Thomas Cocquerel, William Mosley, Corey Large
Writer: Corey Large, Marc Furmie, Steve M. Albert, based on the life of Errol Flynn