The quintessential Australian science-fiction films are undeniably the original Mad Max trilogy. The first film remains a classic and launched Mel Gibson’s career. George Miller’s reboot was arguably the best action films of last year. It’s easier to overlook some of the smaller sci-fi films which the nation has produced such as Predestination, Dark City and The Infinite Man. Jesse O’Brien’s makes the most of a miniscule budget by injecting his new film Arrowhead with ingenuity and pathos, making it another impressive effort from Down Under.
After escaping from prison, Kye (Dan Mor) agrees to complete one last mission for Tobias Hatch (Mark Redpath), a revolutionary leader, only to become stranded on a seemingly deserted planet when his ship crashes. His only company is a rather unhelpful computer called REEF (Shaun Micallef). That’s until the arrival of Tarren (Aleisha Rose), and whilst the pair look for a way to escape they are impeded by the return of one of her group, Norman Orleander (Christopher Kirby). Trouble is, last time Kye saw Orleander he was dead.
Jesse O’Brien extended a short film he created back in 2012 to make Arrowhead and it’s more on the style and scale of Gareth Edwards’ Monsters than the stylish The Martian. However, it’s very cleverly made, and whilst there are scenes which grate due to budgetary constraints, on the whole its impressively put-together. Mor is good as the confused and often suffering Kai and the ‘twist’ is quite cleverly done. Arrowhead is an impressive feature debut from O’Brien and it will be interesting to see what he can do when he has more money to play with.
Arrowhead is released on VoD and DVD by Metrodome on Monday.