Alex Russell

Cut Snake (TIFF 2014 Review)

Dir: Tony Ayres

Cut Snake opens on a slow motion close-up of a cigarette heater pulsating as a drag is taken. Smoke swirls and ebbs, backlit by the blinding afternoon sun. The shot is enticing and evocative, and makes promises that the disappointing Cut Snake is unable to keep. While idyllic and sun-drenched Melbourne is an inspired choice to set a period noir in, it’s the visuals alone that pop in this overblown melodrama.

Taking place in 1974, the film opens with Pommie (Sullivan Stapleton, memorable in Animal Kingdom and perfunctory as a place holder in 300: Rise of an Empire) being released from prison and tracking down an old acquaintance. Side-stepping ambiguity, Pommie’s motivations are quickly made clear from the ominous music overlaid atop scenes of him stalking parking lots and threatening the elderly. He’s searching for (more…)