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By Clint Morris | March 14, 2005

The last couple of years haven’t been too great for Australian films. A common grievance seems to be that they’re either all the same – in terms of basic story or wile – or that there’s nothing about them that makes them markedly ‘our own’.
One chargeable element instigators seem to have overlooked though is that folks don’t seem too interested in seeing local pics that concentrate on ‘someone’, rather than your average Joe next door. “Diana and Me” – centering on a fanatical Princess Diana fan – flopped faster than a roof bound flapjack, and the recent “Night We Called it a Day”, about Frank Sinatra, was one of last year’s biggest box office disappointments. Seems filmgoers aren’t interested in seeing us rip a page out of the E! Inside story, no matter how good the film might be.
Thankfully – for the folks that don’t seem to have a hunger for the tale of ‘somebody’ theme – then the band AC/DC – yeah, even despite the title – play a very little part in the new film “Thunderstruck”. In fact, they’re merely the stitching that holds a lot of the broad cross pattern together. One point there.
1991. Five friends – all fantastic fans of rockers AC/DC – make a pact with each other that if any one of them should die – they’ll bury them next to their favorite band’s late lead singer, Bon Scott. Twelve years later, the unthinkable happens and one of them bites it. Now the estranged mates reunite for a crazy cross country road trip – in a wonky old Van no less – to Perth, to spread their mate’s ashes next to his idol.
“Thunderstruck” won’t start the engine of the Australian film industry many think has stalled of late, but it’s a tow to somewhere close. It’s not side-splittingly funny, not scrupulously written nor is it something infinitely memorable, but what it is is a crowd-pleasing good time.
From the solid leads – especially, the always amusing Curry, and newcomer Damon Gameau – to the steadfast support cast – stand-out turns from the gorgeous Bojana Novakovic and intriguingly cute Saskia Burmeister– to an excellent score by Francois Tetaz, not to mention a fitting rock soundtrack – it’s got all the ingredients mixed in for a reasonably tasty cocktail of home-grown laughs and a credible dollop of mateship.
Granted, there’s not as much AC/DC as the film could’ve hoped for (assume that had something to do with rights to the tracks), the film’s mish-mash of oddball humour and heart-tugging drama is a little off at times and the always excellent Sam Worthington isn’t with the film for much (can’t be long before Hollywood discovers Sam), but their inconsequential justices for a flick that’s reasonably well-rounded.
If anything, “Thunderstruck” is a rock and rollin’ good time that’s anything if not likeable.

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