TL;DR – A delightful meditative film that explores two damaged lives trying to find their way, and it shines when the film focuses on that.
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
Disclosure – I paid to see this film.
Bosch & Rockit Review –
I am not sure why Coming-of-Age films capture you as well as they do. Every part of a person’s life should be as interesting as any other, yet there is something about these stories that always captures your attention. This is probably why we see many of these films throughout the year, but some connect better than others, and today we get to look at just such a film.
So to set the scene, we open in on the New South Wales coastline as a young boy Rockit (Rasmus King), is surfing barrels in the waves. While he is struggling with school and wanting to spend time surfing, his father Bosch (Luke Hemsworth) makes money selling weed farmed from his property in the hills. Things are going well until Bosch’s partner and local copper, Keith (Michael Sheasby), brings in a new boss Derek (Martin Sacks), who wants them to sell coke as well. This is bad, but before Bosch can work a way out of this mess, a bush fire crashes down the hill and leads the cops right to Bosch’s farm. Knowing he is rumbled by the police, both legitimate and dirty, Bosch grabs Rocket and goes on the run, or as he calls it, ‘a holiday’.
The first thing I want to mention about Bosch & Rockit is how beautiful the film looks. There is a running joke that you know when you are watching an Australian film from all the overhead establishing drone shots, but when you have the scenery like this, it just works. It is also used to show the water on the coast in all its different states, from the crisp, clean barrels in the surf to the tea tree stained creeks that flow into the sea. Water photography, especially underwater shots, is immaculate, and it is clear that a lot of skill is used to capture them. This film is obsessed with sunsets and sunrises, and you better believe we live in the golden hour and given they are surfing, it feels like a proper thematic dressing than just because it looks good. While we are talking about the production design, I do what also to shout out the sound design because this is the only film I have ever seen that has captured what sand actually sounds like when you walk on it.
One of the clever things the film does is situate itself in a time without being explicit about it. Because much of the content is set in more rural and coastal areas, you don’t immediately clock that everyone does not have mobile phones. Instead, you just get these profoundly nostalgic moments when they needle drop The Living End’s Prisoner of Society, and you get ripped back into the past. I don’t think I truly clocked it until I was sitting there going, ‘people really use their home phone’s in this,’ and then the horrific sound of someone using dial-up internet came down the phone line. Not being able to phone someone because they were on the internet took me back to high school and probably forced a couple of the hairs in my bear to give up and just turn grey. Though I will say, this is a film that situates itself on the right side of the Potato Scallop/ Potato Cake debate, and I appreciate them for that.
On the acting front, I have to credit the two new actors in this film, Rasmus King & Savannah La Rain. They must do a lot of the heavy emotional lifting and properly take us through several years of history with their characters. That is a task that takes a lot of work given the subject matter at hand, and I always bought where they situated themselves in the world. Supporting this is main stayers Luke Hemsworth & Isabel Lucas, who also bring intensity and quirkiness to the production. There is a level of menace permeating the background of the film thanks to the almost comical villainess of detective Derek which is enough to give the narrative justification while not enough to overwhelm the core of the narrative.
Which, of course, leads us to the film’s core and its biggest strength and weakness. The bond between Bosch and Rockit is core to everything happening in this film. The story’s main thrust is that they are Thelma & Louise-ing it without Rockit knowing that they are Thelma & Louise-ing it. From here, we get many of the film’s more comedic moments, as the two bounce off each other using language that will probably make whoever writes the IMDB parent’s guide blush on more than one occasion. This bond is essential for the story because it provides the ammunition for the coming betrayal that is inevitable given the situation and how much Rockit cares for Bosch. However, as the film continues, that bond becomes less of the focus, and from here, the film, unfortunately, meanders to the end rather than sticking it with the energy it started with. I know this probably stems from the fact that this is inspired by a true story, and true stories rarely line up nicely with a three-act movie, but it is still an issue.
In the end, do we recommend Bosch & Rockit? Yes, we would. While I am not sure it sticks that landing, it was an enjoyable romp throughout. The acting was good, the location work sublime, and heck, it even made me want to go down to the beach in the middle of winter. If you liked Bosch & Rockit, we recommend Hunt for the Wilderpeople.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Bosch & Rockit
Directed by –Tyler Atkins
Screenplay by –Tyler Atkins & Drue Metz
Story by – Tyler Atkins
Music by – Brian Cachia
Cinematography by – Ben Nott
Edited by – Scott Gray
Production/Distribution Companies – Black Pearl Productions, Sunshine Bear Films, Deeper Water & Madman Entertainment
Starring – Luke Hemsworth, Rasmus King, Isabel Lucas, Savannah La Rain, Leeanna Walsman, Heather Mitchell, Martin Sacks, Michael Sheasby, Ryan Oliver Gelbart, Pearl Spring Voss, Kaeng Chan, Paul Thomas Hunt & Barry Tukz Kopua
Rating – Australia: MA15+