Combustible Celluloid
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With: Richard Chamberlain, Olivia Hamnett, David Gulpilil, Frederick Parslow, Vivean Gray, Nandjiwarra Amagula, Walter Amagula
Written by: Peter Weir, Tony Morphett, Petru Popescu
Directed by: Peter Weir
MPAA Rating: PG
Running Time: 106
Date: 11/05/1977

The Last Wave (1977)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Aboriginal Sin

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Peter Weir's Australian thriller starts with a bang but slowly grows more conventional. A vicious rainstorm appears, falling from a clear sky, and a strange murder takes place among a group of Aborigines outside a Sydney bar. Lawyer Richard Chamberlain -- who suffers from prophetic nightmares -- is assigned to the case, but ancient tribal secrets prevent the accused from giving any information. Eventually we discover that Chamberlain is that rare white man with enough spiritual power to fully understand the ancient magic. Weir's directorial instincts never falter and he plays up the suspense throughout, but the screenplay lays down its cards too early and wanders off into nonsense. The Criterion Collection's DVD transfer is absolutely beautiful; the disc comes with an interview with Weir, a trailer and optional subtitles.

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