The Ferryman (2007)
By: Devon B. on November 18, 2009  | 
DVD
Magna Pacific (Australia). Region 4, PAL. 1.78:1 (16:9 enhanced). English DD 5.1. 100 minutes
The Movie
Cover Art
Credits
Director: Chris Graham
Starring: John Rhys-Davies, Kerry Fox, Sally Stockwell, Amber Sainsbury, Tamer Hassan, Craig Hall
Screenplay: Nick Ward, Matthew Metcalfe
Country: New Zealand
External Links
Purchase IMDB YouTube
Ever since discovering those cinematic cultural bastions Once Were Warriors and Bad Taste, I've always been up for a film from New Zealand. I managed to forget that The Ferryman was a Kiwi film, and the rather uninteresting slick nearly scared me off. But, I needed a new film for a Hallowe'en marathon, and I'd seen almost everything else in my local shop. When I popped in the disc and realised what I'd hired, my expectations were raised hugely from where the crappy cover had lowered them. Unfortunately, they should've stayed down.

The Ferryman opens on a boat where Sallah himself, John Rhys-Davies, is having a strong disagreement with some other dude. John pulls one over on the other guy by doing a manoeuvre he must've learned from watching Fallen.

The Ferryman then cuts to NZ and there's a small tour group sailing to Fiji. The group is made up of Kiwi's and Seppos (at least I assume they are American and not Canadian from one of the character's supreme displays of ignorance), and one of the tour guides is a Brit, so there's a variety of accents going 'round. That'd be fine except one of the thespians struggles to mask his native New Zealand accent which made me start second guessing everyone's accents and listening for slip ups. Anyway, the tour's going along well until they get an SOS from a boat in distress. One guess whose boat it is... The tour saves John, but now they're having all sorts of problems because John isn't being entirely civil, and given John's character is called The Greek, it's only fitting there's a Greek mythological figure after him. If you're wondering which figure, see the film's title.

There was some good humour in The Ferryman, particularly some nice digs at the insular, self-involved nature of the United States, but overall the film is a bit blasé. The gore and FX are well done, but they can't salvage the film from being boring. Not that there's a lot of gore; in fact I assume the R rating is due to a sexually charged scene. The movie takes a good long while to set up its situation, and by then I was ready for a cracking pace, but there was no crackin' to be found. Because the movie was going so slowly, I got really distracted by plot points, like the villain's illogical choices, or that people cast into the sea sink. Maybe someone was using Adrift to check their body buoyancy facts?

The Ferryman is competent, mostly well acted, and looks slick. It just isn't very entertaining.
Video
The film is 16x9 enhanced and the print is very clean, but that's not a surprise given it's only a few years old.
Audio
The audio is a 5.1 mix, and while the score puts the surround to good use, I didn't really notice much else utilizing it.
Extra Features
The DVD comes with the trailer and an extended trailer, 18 minutes of deleted and alternate scenes (in case you hadn't had enough of the movie already), a casting tape, and some interviews and behind the scenes footage. The best thing on the disc, movie included, is an on the set tour with the British dude who just takes the piss outta everything. I got a good laugh out of the reason given why The Ferryman's director could never be the next Peter Jackson. There's also an 8 minute interview with John Rhys-Davies; the audio's a bit rough, but listenable. 40 minutes of casting tapes are available, but all I really got out of that was that the woman doing the North American accent is a Kiwi. Lastly, there's a 30 minute behind the scenes.
The Verdict
When I get a movie from New Zealand I obviously don't expect something of Peter Jackson calibre every time, but this isn't even up there with Black Sheep. I'd be more likely to re-watch The Piano than The Ferryman.
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score

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