Buckley’s Chance – Film Review

Wow. I don’t even know where to start. This is quite possibly the worst film I have ever seen, I’m questioning why I didn’t turn it off halfway through!

Buckley’s Chance tells the story of Ridley, a young American boy who travels to the Australian outback with his mother to visit his grandfather Spencer, following the death of his father 12-months prior. Ridley finds it hard to adjust to the change of environment and soon finds himself lost in the desert, where he befriends a dingo who manages to lead him home to safety.

To be honest, the premise sounds pretty good, not at all original, and I was looking forward to watching this film. Man, I was wrong. The story wasn’t too bad, but it just didn’t hit right. You want to feel for these characters, you want to get behind them and cheer them on along the way. But I didn’t get any of that, and they relied very heavily on the dead dad angle to leverage emotion, which did nothing for me. Honestly, the best part of the story was the friendship created between Ridley and the dingo, who is the real hero of this film.

The acting here is atrocious too. I thought Bill Nighy would be a stand out, being the big star on the bill, but his performance was sub par, stiff and cringeworthy. I honestly believe he was reading his lines off of cue cards. He was trying to come across as the hard arse, grumpy grandfather, but it was nothing like that. I’ve honestly seen better performances from armature theatre groups!

The best performance of the film honestly came from the dingo! It was incredibly well-trained and added some fun to the film, as a cheeky dog does. Definitely the hero of the film in so many ways. The film also showcased some pretty breathtaking parts of the outback, which is a nice bonus but doesn’t save the film at all. 

In all honesty, Buckley’s Chance seems like a low rent version of the Aussie box office hit Red Dog, trying to cash in on the dog film trend that seems to be sweeping through the Australian film industry of late. But it completely misses the mark and falls short on so many points. There isn’t a Buckley’s chance I’ll be recommending this to anyone!

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