I’ve just watched an Australian crime thriller movie, written and directed by Craig Lahiff (“Heaven’s Burning”, “Fever”) from 2011 called “Swerve”.
Two men meet in a dusty desert area of Australia to conduct a drugs deal, switching a briefcase of drugs for one of cash. The buyer discovers as he drives away that he’s been cheated but is killed by an explosive charge hidden in the briefcase before he can do anything about it. The seller the drives off at high speed with the briefcase full of cash.
Speeding along the road to get to a meeting in the nearby town of Neverest he overtakes a car only to have to swerve to avoid an oncoming car, causing him to overturn and wreck his car.
The car that he overtook is being driven by Colin (David Lyons – “Safe Haven”, “Eat Pray Love”), who stops to see if he can help. He discovers that the driver of the speeding car is dead and recovers the briefcase of cash from the wreckage.
He offers the shaken driver of the other car, Jina (Emma Booth – “Blood Creek”, “Parker”), a lift as her car needs repairs, and drops her at the gates to her out-of-town home, before continuing into Neverest to report the accident and hand the briefcase in to the police.
The police station is shut so Colin heads to a bar across the street where, after talking to the barman, he meets local cop Frank (Jason Clarke – “Trust”, “Child 44”). Frank takes Colin back to the police station and puts the briefcase into a cell for safekeeping.
When Colin asks about a hotel for the night Frank explains that they are all busy due to a music competition taking place in the town and invites him to spend the night at his home, saying that it’s no bother and that his wife loves to cook.
Arriving at Frank’s home, Colin realises that Frank is Jina’s husband. After dinner Frank says that he needs to pop to the station and also to check on Jina’s car repairs. While he’s gone Jina attempts to seduce Colin, who turns her down saying that he is too honest. When he notices a bruise of Jina’s shoulder she tells him that Frank beats her.
What follows is a mixture of honest man caught up in matters beyond his control, a potentially corrupt cop, a briefcase full of cash, a femme fatale and a mysterious and ruthless killer, Charlie (Travis McMahon – “Cactus”, “I Love You Too”), as things become gradually more complicated for all involved.
This isn’t the greatest noir type film I’ve ever seen but it’s a very long way from being the worst. The desert setting gives the whole affair a different feel than many similar movies and whilst Clarke is suitably intense and Lyons convinces as the out of his depth traveller, I feel that Booth makes an excellent femme fatale. All in all, very watchable…