A skilled getaway driver (Barry Pepper) receives an unexpected phone call from a ruthless crime boss named Veronica (Rachel Griffiths). The getaway driver is told to drive to a bus stop outside a local hardware store and pick up a passenger (Jamie Costa). This passenger is no stranger; it’s someone whom he knows reasonably well. Once the pick-up has been made, he must deliver him to Veronica. If successful, the getaway driver will receive a lot of money. If he fails, he’ll get nothing in return. However, for the getaway driver, collecting the passenger and delivering him to Veronica won’t be easy.
To make matters worse, the driver and the passenger recently robbed a powerful man named Frank (Sam Neill). Not only did the job not go as planned, but after stealing a large bag of money from Frank, someone among them pocketed twenty-five thousand dollars for themselves, and now the passenger is the prime suspect. Conversations are shared while the driver tries to reach his destination, but Frank also wants to steal his money back. Can the driver make his destination in time, and will he hand over the passenger and newfound friend to Veronica? Plus, who’s responsible for the missing twenty-five grand in cash?
Bring Him to Me is best described as an Australian crime thriller. The plot here is simple and easy to follow. I enjoyed that the film hinged on a few unknowns, such as a mysterious sum of money disappearing and the driver trying to commit and wrestle with the new orders he’s been given from above. Viewers will better understand the driver and the passenger as the film progresses, thanks to various conversations. We particularly learn about their past upbringing and their current family lifestyle. The film also offers flashbacks about the robbery of Frank, and again, more information is provided as the story progresses. The plot builds up strongly, and despite some minor aspects of predictability, many moments did surprise me.
The visuals are excellent here. While most of the film is set at night, I’m excited to share that the visuals are a massive strength of this film. Everything on-screen is sharp, and there’s a great use of colours and lighting throughout, too, thanks to cinematographer Ross W. Clarkson. The leading performance from actor Barry Pepper is outstanding and highly believable as a driver who’s been taking orders for a long time. I enjoyed seeing how firm, calm, and confident this character is throughout the film, especially while wrestling with a challenging choice: does he hand over someone whom he has bonded with and trusts. Sam Neill brings a lively presence, and seeing the actor play someone ruthless and bent on revenge is also welcomed and fun. As for direction from Luke Sparke, I’m proud to say that this film exceeded my expectations. It’s terrific to see that Bring Him to Me is far different from his previous work and is easily his best film to date. Luke’s work as an editor is also great here, and everything on-screen flowed well and never felt out of place or abrupt.
Overall, I’m proud to say this film significantly exceeded my expectations. Bring Him to Me is a crime thriller with a simple premise and storyline, but it has a solid mystery and strong character development. Barry Pepper is fantastic playing a skilled getaway driver and gives a solid performance. Naturally, actor Sam Neill carries an enjoyable presence on screen as a ruthless man keen for revenge. Visuals are top-notch here, and the use of colours feels creative and professional. This is easily Director Luke Sparke’s best film to date, and the same can be said about his work in the editing department, which was also strong here. Lovers of all things crime, thriller, and related to Australian Cinema should support this exciting new release.