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SENSITIVE NEW AGE KILLER

Australia, 2000 (MIFF 2000, Australian Showcase)

Director: Mark Savage

Paul Morris is your average struggling family man battling bills, daily squabbles and the multitude of problems faced in raising kids. Pressure at work doesn't help... especially when, like Paul, you're a hitman. In Mark Savage's tongue-in-cheek action/comedy it's easy to empathise with this bumbling anti-hero. Paul is a dreamer who schemes toward the one big job, an assassination pay-off that will set him up for life and earn the respect of his peers. He is also driven by trying to match the notoriety of The Snake'—an ice-cool gunman from Paul's childhood—which leads him to specialise as a 'crusader' who only bumps off bad guys.

Savage's love of the Hong Kong action film (he directed a documentary on Jackie Chan) is readily apparent in this homage. Explosive action, rapid edits, balletic gunplay and outrageous stunts that would make John Woo break out in a cold sweat. The director stirs in plot kinks—a blackmailing oversexed female cop and a double-crossing pal—to create a homegrown genre spoof par excellence.

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