Boar is an Aussie animal-attack flick about a small outback community of ranchers threatened by a gigantic, bloodthirsty pig.
Yes, I know it sounds like Razorback (1979). When the star of the movie is a massive swine, comparisons are inevitable.
For my money, writer-director Chris Sun accomplishes exactly what he sets out to do, namely, make an old-fashioned thriller about a giant critter on a rampage that racks up a hella high body count.
It helps greatly that cinematography and practical creature effects were areas of focus for Sun. He dexterously shuffles hog-o-vision POV stalking camera with flying tracking shots of victims trying to escape the oncoming Pork Chop Express in ways that maximize impending terror.
When poor Blue (Roger Ward) has to make a stand against the monstrous boar, the buildup is dizzying, with cameras swooping and circling around him like vultures.
The cast of familiar faces include John Jarratt (Wolf Creek) and Bill Moseley (The Devil’s Rejects) in non-maniac roles.
In fact, Jarratt, who played one of the most cruel and violent killers ever in Wolf Creek, is borderline heroic here. He risks his life, unarmed, to rescue some old-looking teenage campers who’ve pitched their tents in the pig’s path of destruction.
It’s a refreshingly uncharacteristic touch, in a movie that’s full of them. Another example is heroic hulk Bernie (Nathan Jones, think Jason Statham Down Under) launching into a gleeful rap-a-long of “Ice Ice Baby” that reminds me of Quint’s crew enjoying a song in Jaws—a timely comic moment shortly before the shit hits the fan.
There are a number of such moments in Boar, particularly in the beery banter between drinking buddies Ken (Jarratt) and Blue, who are forced to put down their Fosters and run for their lives.
Blue yells at Ken for not loading his rifle before they drunkenly embark on a midnight run to track the creature.
“Well, I never reckoned I’d run into a pig the size of a rhino out here!” Ken retorts.
The “out here” Ken refers to is the beautiful Mary Valley in Queensland, Australia, whose bucolic splendors are never less than gorgeous. Even while characters plan, plot, and panic over their porky predicament, the scenery remains a sparkling gem.
Taken as a whole, Boar isn’t a bore; there are too many good things going on to complain about the uneven pace or a few CGI pig shots that don’t cut it.
Your time invested will be paid off in quality entertainment. You’re welcome.