Cinema hasn’t really painted rural Australia as the perfect place to visit on a vacation. Sure, it all looked rather pretty in Walkabout, but don’t be fooled by appearances. The likes of Wake in Fright, Wolf Creek and Mystery Road hardly portray the outback as a pleasant place to live. Especially if you’re a member of the indigenous population. Ivan Sen’s 2013 film Mystery Road introduced us to aboriginal Detective Jay Swan (Aaron Pedersen). His spin-off, Goldstone, sees the lawman stumble upon a mystery in the titular town.

Josh (Alex Russell) is the police force of the small rural mining town of Goldstone. A town run by a corrupt Mayor (Jacki Weaver) and the supervisor of the local mine (David Wenham), who are both determined to expand operations at Furnace Creek. The sticking point is getting the aboriginal town council to agree, but they have a plan to bribe one of the Elders (David Gulpilil). Into the mix crashes a drunk indigenous detective (Pedersen) on the hunt for a missing Asian girl.

Goldstone is a heady mix of rural Western and dusty noir, set against a rugged backdrop. Ivan Sen builds on the same themes he introduced in Mystery Road to create an outlandish, dark and acrid thriller. Pedersen reprises his role with aplomb and Russell has just the right balance of youthful naivety and ennui. The outback setting gives it an air of isolation whilst Sen counters this by placing his characters in claustrophobic situations. Goldstone is an impressive crime drama with a political edge.

Goldstone is available on DVD and Blu-ray from AX1 Entertainment now.