For those of you who are surf fanatics, Drift (2012) is the film for you. For those of you who are wild about Australia, Drift is the film for you. For those of you who are adore Sam Worthington, Drift might be for you. For those of you who love a good, strong story, sadly, Drift might not be for you.
Drift, inspired by actual events, starts out as a black and white film. In the late 50’s, the Kelly boys travel across Australia with their mom after she escapes their abusive father. The trio are forced to move from town to town as the family continues to clash with conservatives in town. The eldest brother, Andy, played by Myles Pollard, can’t get enough of the surf. When he and his brother are grounded while their mom goes for a job interview, Andy convinces Jimmy, played by Xavier Samuel, to go to the beach with him. Andy gets trapped underwater when his foot lodges between the rocks after a bad fall in a wave, but Jimmy manages to free his brother’s foot. Still, the ankle is broken, their mother is mad and that’s when the film flashes to the 70’s.
Andy is a laborer in a logging factory. Jimmy is a surfer. No explanation as to how Jimmy became the surf obsessed man of the family and how Andy stopped surfing. Andy’s accident in the 50’s, early 60’s wasn’t bad enough to stop him from surfing in my opinion. His mother needed help stabilizing her boys, and that could be a reason as to why the eldest son grows up, but that’s not something the audience should have to assume. We need to be shown why or how a character changes from one minute to the next.
Sam Worthington (Avatar) comes in to the film as BJ, a hippie drifter. He doesn’t play too significant of a role in the film, but his character always seems to be where he needs to be exactly when he is needed. Worthington doesn’t do a bad job acting, but his character is written one dimensional in that manner. There’s no motivation for his character.
Drift might have been a stronger film if the directors, Ben Nott and and Morgan O’Neill (screenplay), would have cut out the first ten and a half minutes of the film and found another way to show to the audience that the family escaped an abusive father. What you lose when you eliminate it is a cool editing transition from black and white to color as a wave rolls by. The begininning of the film is just not necessary.
The Kelly brothers open up a shop making and selling their own line of surf wear and equipment, including surf boards. The shop starts out doing pretty well, but encounters a few troubles along the way. BJ gets the boys in trouble when he stashes some of his drugs inside the boards threatening their shop as the local law enforcement are watching their every move. The police set up shop outside the shop making sure the Kelly boys aren’t bringing mischief to the town. The local gang clashes with Andy and Jimmy. The gang enlists one of the Kelly friends to ship their drugs inside the surf boards. A huge problem breaks out when the Kelly’s wash the drugs down the sink and can’t return the money to the gang.
Overall, this film is more about the relationships between the Kelly brothers, their friendships, their romantic relationships with the same girl and how they interact with drugs, gangs and corruption.
Drift was released by Lionsgate Home Entertainment today, September 17th, on Blu-ray, DVD or Digital Download. It’s also available on Video on Demand. Surfs up everyone!