Russell Mulcahy’s sort-of bio-pic allegedly depicts the early life of Errol Flynn. A troubled child, who was expelled from schools and often close to trouble with the law, Flynn himself wrote the book Beam Ends on which the film is based.
Certainly the young Flynn was an adventurer, but one wonders how much of his autobiography was fantasy, or at the very least, a highly embroidered version of the truth. Yet writers Marc Furmie, Steve M. Albert and Corey Large (who also takes on the role of “Rex”), have clearly decided to take Flynn’s story at face value.
The result is a film in the style of one of Flynn’s swashbucklers, with every corny scene imaginable: there is the platinum blonde slapping him, calling him a swine and then kissing him; there are tediously long, unrealistic fight scenes; there is dialogue that is unbelievably bad; and there is the usual grab-bag of unscrupulous Chinese, murderous Papuans and dumb but beautiful women. Had this been a deliberate parody, one could almost forgive. But this feature is having an identity crisis. And we are expected to sit as witnesses as the will to live slowly drains out of us.
I tried to like this film. I tried…oh how I tried…to find something positive to say. The script is awful, giving the actors little to work with. But even then, the acting is atrocious. Thomas Cocquerel is handsome and charming as the eponymous Flynn, but the eye-candy factor does not make up for the tedium-inducing performance. Even the usually wonderful David Wenham is wasted in a caricature role as Christian Travers.
In the spirit of fairness I will say the costumes are nice. And the lighting is pretty.
In summary: I can’t even.
In Like Flynn is currently playing at various cinemas around Adelaide.