Chopper * Andrew Dominik * 2001

Maybe you know the story behind this film, but it is a strange one! Mark “Chopper” Read is an Australian criminal who supposedly killed 19 people, but was never convicted for any of these murders. Still he spent most of his adult life in prison for violence, possession of arms, etc. In jail he wrote 9 books with his ‘memoirs’ which were instant bestsellers and Chopper became some sort of culthero with fanclubs and everything. This film is so to say a compilation of the 9 books with the Australian stand-up comedian Eric Bana as Chopper.
The first thing that you will hear about this film is mostly that it is extremely violent, but still funny. Personally I found the film indeed rather funny, but it is not as violent as some people want you to believe. Also the ‘ear-scene’ isn’t like the one from “True Romance” in my opinion. Actually I find “Chopper” not more violent than other crime-comedies that you can see today.
Anyway, Chopper is a strange and charismatic person who seems not too intelligent but he is definately not stupid either. All through the film he betrays friends for money, drugs or just because they did something to him. The film is strangely cut. On one hand it seems as if the film is told by Chopper to two police officers in a bar, but it can also be told by Chopper to two guards in his prison while they are watching a documentary with an interview about him. The scenes are all through eachother and it is hard to tell what happened first and what happened later. Also it is unclear what is presented as a fact and what is fiction. Indeed a style of filming that we became familiar with, especially in the genre.
Overall I found “Chopper” pretty amusing.

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