Watch Jack Irish: Black Tide
- 1 hr 33 min
Jack Irish: Black Tide is a gritty, suspenseful crime thriller from 2012 that follows the titular character, played by Guy Pearce, as he gets drawn into a dangerous conspiracy involving corrupt politicians, shady businessmen, and violent criminals. Set in Melbourne, Australia, the film is based on the novel of the same name by Peter Temple, and is directed by Jeffrey Walker, who infuses the story with a stylish, atmospheric tone that captures the seedy underbelly of the city.
The film begins with Jack, a former criminal lawyer and now a private investigator and debt collector, trying to help an ex-client who owes money to a loan shark. But when the client turns up dead, Jack starts to probe deeper into the case, and soon realizes that there's more to the story than he first thought. He also becomes reacquainted with reporter Linda Hillier (Marta Dusseldorp), who is investigating a waterfront redevelopment project that seems to be linked to the killing.
Things take a turn for the worse when Jack's friend and former colleague, Danny McKillop (Aaron Pedersen), is implicated in the murder, and Jack has to clear his name while also trying to uncover the real villains behind the scheme. Along the way, he encounters a colorful cast of characters, including a crooked developer, a ruthless crime boss, a corrupt politician, and a mysterious woman who seems to know more than she's letting on.
As the plot thickens, Jack finds himself caught in a web of deceit and danger, with his own life on the line. He must use all his skills and resources to stay alive and uncover the truth, while also confronting demons from his own past that threaten to unravel him.
The film is anchored by Pearce's performance as Jack, who is a complex and flawed protagonist, equal parts tough and vulnerable. He brings a world-weary intelligence and wry humor to the role, making Jack both relatable and badass. Dusseldorp is also strong as Linda, who provides a counterpoint to Jack's cynicism with her idealism and determination. Pedersen is a standout as Danny, imbuing the character with a palpable sense of anger and betrayal that makes his plight all the more poignant.
The action in the film is well-staged and intense, with a few standout set pieces that showcase Jack's physical prowess and quick thinking. But the film is just as effective in its quieter moments, which allow the characters to breathe and the tension to build. The cinematography by Martin McGrath is atmospheric and moody, capturing the grit and glamor of Melbourne with equal skill.
One of the strengths of the film is how it manages to balance its multiple plot threads and characters, weaving them together in a satisfying and coherent way. The script by Matt Cameron and Andrew Knight is smart and tight, with a few twists and turns that keep the audience guessing. The film also has a strong sense of place and culture, with nods to Australian politics, sport, and history that add depth and authenticity to the story.
Overall, Jack Irish: Black Tide is a solid crime thriller that packs a punch. It delivers a compelling story with engaging characters, stylish visuals, and satisfying action. It's also a testament to the talent of Pearce, who proves once again that he's one of the most versatile and underrated actors of his generation. Fans of noir, mystery, and Australian cinema will find plenty to enjoy here.