One look at Kev (Hugo Weaving) and you know that sooner or later there’s going to be violence. It’s written on his bearded, surly face.
He and his 10-year-old son, Chook (Tom Russell), are on the run across Australia. It takes a while to find out what they’re fleeing, not so long to perceive that the road they’re on is a dead end.
Most of Glendyn Ivin’s gruff, laconic “Last Ride”is just Kev and Chook riding, camping and occasionally exchanging a few words against the forbidding beauty of the bush and the desert.
Yet it’s hard to peel your eyes away from Greig Fraser’s darkly gorgeous camera work. Actually, I did look away more than once, afraid something terrible was about to happen. It didn’t (though what happens is bad enough).
Weaving, playing a lowlife who wants to be a passable father but has no idea how, and Russell, as a kid trying not to let himself see what a brute his father really is, couldn’t be better.
You can almost watch Chook’s face closing off — he’s learning from his dad, all right.
And Weaving so fully inhabits the hairy-chested jailbird that it’s startling to think of him pirouetting on stilettos in his best-known early role, as one of the three traveling drag queens in “The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.”
“Last Ride,” from Music Box Films, is playing in New York. Rating: ***