The first Wolf Creek was a flawed but enjoyable horror, one that was memorable for two reasons. It introduced us to the charismatic but psychotic killer, Mick Taylor played wonderfully by John Jarratt. However it also took questionable liberties with its claim of being based on true events. Something that left a sour taste as only cursory research would prove that claim to be on shakey ground.
You can read our review of Wolf Creek here.
Coming 8 years after the first film, at least we can say this wasn’t a rushed sequel. Unfortunately what we can say is that it’s short on new ideas.
It’s a pity as the opening is pretty damn great. It sees Mick pulled over by two arrogant & rude police officers who claim he was speeding even though he wasn’t. They attempt to make an example of him so inevitably suffer his wrath. Thrilling, fun & gory…the first 15 minutes of Wolf Creek is brilliant but unfortunately it never hits this high again.
The movie then shifts focus to a young German couple making the mistake of camping near Wolf Creek Crater. That night Mick comes across them & tries to convince them to leave, offering them a lift. It’s a similar situation to the first with the difference being here that the couple refuse. Something Mick & his psycho tendencies have no time for.
After attacking them the woman manages to escape where she is picked up by Paul (Ryan Corr), an English tourist. Mick’s not far behind though & picks her off with his trusty sniper rifle. Angry that Paul interfered Mick turns his attention to the tourist but Paul manages to evade Mick for a large portion of the film.
Eventually, like everyone else, Paul ends up as a captive of Mick but unlike the others gets a sporting chance to win his freedom.
Ten questions about Australia’s history, get them right & Mick will let him go but for every one he gets wrong Mick will take a finger. This sequence is another highlight of the film. Tense, amusing at times but also brutal & gory.
The writing is on the wall from the moment it starts but it’s hard to not root for Paul. Mick, for all his charm, is a bastard & you do want to see him get his comeuppance. That is a testament to Jarratt’s performance. He really is a great actor.
Credit to Ryan Corr also who plays off Jarratt nicely & performs well as a victim under extreme stress & suffering. The acting isn’t a problem, the plot is the issue. The first half of the movie feels like a selection of shorts put together just so Paul could be introduced. The police officers, the German tourists…entertaining but disconnected to the remainder of the film.
Smartly Mick is the focus this time round seeing as he is an entertaining figure but that makes it hard to care for his victims. Not only that, his crimes are pretty extreme this time round & it starts to become hard to believe that he would be able to get away with this level of murder & destruction.
Not only is he killing cops but in one sequence he drives a truck & even blows the thing up!
The finale of the movie is the worst thing about it, a flat ending that doesn’t satisfy. Predictable & abrupt.
If you enjoyed the first film then you’ll get a kick out of this sequel. It’s flawed & makes some questionable decisions but when it’s good, it is really good. Worth watching for John Jaratt alone.
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Wolf Creek 2