2 January 2018 | gavinp9
Enjoyable piece of Australian cinema
'Goldstone' is the sequel to 'Mystery Road', a decent Australian outback murder-mystery, but I actually liked 'Goldstone' better, as it has more unknowns and undercurrents than it's predecessor. Pedersen is back as Detective Jay Swan, but he's a bit more disheveled this time, having gone through some type of trauma in his life. He arrives in Goldstone, a tiny outback town, looking for a missing girl and isn't really welcomed and has to try to find her with resistance from everyone.
The cast is great - Josh (Russell) is the only police officer for 100's of kilometres and it's great to see him wrestle with what's right vs what he can and can't turn a blind eye to; Maureen (Weaver) is the crazy-eyed, false-smile mayor; Jimmy (Gulpilil) & Tommy (Lewis) are local aboriginal elders, and while Gulpilil's role is small, it's significant; Johnny (Wenham) is the greedy mine manager, supplying jobs (and alcohol); and May (Davidson) is a woman trapped in a tough situation. Josh and Jay clash, as he doesn't need outsiders interfering, and Maureen and Johnny certainly don't want their racquet foiled.
Plenty happens, even though there's lots of great scenery shots, as well as some from overhead (crane or helicopter), that look amazing. It's filmed in western Queensland, but could be anywhere in the Northern Territory, South Australia, Western Australia or New South Wales - extremely desolate and at times, beautiful. It's a slow burn, but everything comes together strongly for the final 20min, with a good ending. Plenty of social commentary - aboriginal interests vs mining interests; city vs country way-of-life; greed vs ethics; but in the end, it's an above average cop thriller that works on a few levels.