Whilst today’s Hollywood spies may skydive onto buildings, drive sportscars at precarious speeds and use a myriad of imaginative gadgets, the stories themselves are often just variations on well-worn themes. There are always the good guys, the bad guys and the unknowable players, rearranged in infinite ways. Today’s covert operators owe a debt of gratitude to the likes of Graham Greene, John le Carré and Joseph Conrad. The latter’s novel, The Secret Agent, is reimagined in Lone Wolf.

Set in a near-future Australia where authorities monitor every aspect of the lives of their citizens, Conrad (Josh McConville) is the proprietor of a specialist bookstore which caters for the neighbourhood provocateurs. He lives with his idealistic environmentalist girlfriend Winnie (Tilda Cobham-Hervey) and her autistic and hyper-curious brother Stevie (Chris Bunton). When they’re offered the opportunity to disrupt the upcoming G20 summit, the activists jump at the chance, but something isn’t quite right.

Lone Wolf is an innovative and imaginative espionage thriller which plays with a number of styles and techniques to create an immersive and entertaining drama. Indeed, the success of Jonathan Ogilvie’s film relies heavily on its visual flair. However, it’s the clever storytelling that brings everything together for a perfect dénouement. Bathed in a neon glow, Lone Wolf is an exhilarating and unpredictable morality tale.  

Lone Wolf screens at International Film Festival Rotterdam.