I'm late, I know, but better late than never, right? Felony follows the story of Malcom Toohey (Joel Edgerton), a Sydney cop out celebrating a successful raid, a raid which caused Malcom to take a bullet. When driving home from this night-out, Malcom, very much intoxicated, accidentally runs over a young boy on his bike. Not wanting to get in trouble, Malcom begins to lie to the police about what happened, including to the suspicious detective, Jim Melic (Jai Courtney). Now Malcom must either live with the lie he's set up, or turn himself in and face the charges.
Felony is a sleek, fast paced and riveting Aussie thriller. I don't know how many times I can point this out, but I am in love with the Australian Film Industry this year. So much so that I really regret not seeing 52 Tuesdays or These Final Hours, both of which are on my must-rent list. Felony is a film that draws you in right away. The opening shot of the film, although mostly digital, was absolutely stunning, perfectly manoeuvred and expertly teasing, ensuring that we stay seated. We then cut back a few hours and get the final moments before Malcom's "complication" of sorts. Felony never wants us to turn away or to leave. It wants us to stay and watch and it knows precisely how to do so. With tight editing, a brisk runtime and a fresh storyline, Felony is a yet another Australian film that should be put on your radar.
The performances in this film are astounding. Jai Courtney returns in a career-best performance, proving once again that last year's A Good Day To Die Hard was simply a mistake. Joel Edgerton may appear amazing, and he is, but he shrivels in comparison to Tom Wilkinson's devious and manipulative performance, making his character easy to hate as the film goes on. All letting free their thick Aussie accents, Felony is a film that feels right at home. It's reality, written extravagantly by Joel Edgerton in the first film to be written solely by him (he co-wrote 2008's The Square and provided the storyline for this year's The Rover). The dialogue is truthful, the situations are engaging and the characters are thorough.
It's not until the film's ending that we become underwhelmed. For 95 minutes I was glued to the screen, not wanting to turn away and not disengaged in the least bit. Then the ending happens. And while it's shocking, emotional and unbelievably powerful, what follows is a little disappointing. Everything happens, it's stylishly shot and fabulously directed, but then the film stops. It just freaking stops. We're given a good idea of what's to happen next, but the film cuts off so unexpectedly and disappointingly.
To sum up, Felony is a sleek, fast paced and riveting Aussie thriller with astounding performances, an extravagant screenplay and an original and engaging premise, although the ending cuts off a few minutes too soon.