28th Jan2021

‘Rams’ VOD Review

by Kevin Haldon

Stars: Sam Neill, Michael Caton, Miranda Richardson, Asher Keddie | Written by Jules Duncan | Directed by Jeremy Sims

Sam Neill is truly blazing a new trail right now… After his performance in Peaky Blinders Season 1; his star turn in Hunt for the Wilderpeople; and his imminent return to the Jurassic Park franchise; it’s hard to not be a Sam Neill fan right now. Though that’s always been the case – whether he is researching dinosaurs or scaring the bejesus out of Laurence Fishburne (Event Horizon call back). Though his wheelhouse these days, in my opinion, are his more low-budget and personal stories. As he’s aging he’s taking on new roles, new challenges, a lot of which see him embody the everyman who simply cannot be phased. It’s a role he embodies so perfectly too.

I can’t lie to you, apparently this film is an Australian remake, of a Icelandic movie of the same name, one that I had neither seen nor heard of but there is something about the name Rams

Colin (Sam Neill) and Les (Michael Caton) Grimersun are two brothers who live roughly 100 yards away from each other yet couldn’t be further apart. Two men at war as they raise their separate prized flocks of sheep from their families bloodline. During this years fierce competition Colin discovers that one of Les flock is carrying a rare and somewhat lethal disease. The local government order a the mass culling of all the sheep in the valley to eradicate the illness. Les doesn’t take well to this and angrily stands up to the government while Colin takes a different approach and decides to hide some of his flock underneath his floorboards (Inglourious Basterds-style). Shenanigans ensue obviously and in an act of defiance the two brothers set aside their differences to save their family’s legacy in the valley. Answering the question how far exactly would a man go to protect his sheep?

After the absolute shit show that 2020 was, it is just nice to watch a wholesome goodhearted fun movie. Rams doesn’t ask anything of its viewers – other than to be entertained by some damn fine actors just enjoying their work. It’s not a secret that I’m really into the more lo-budget movies and if they come with a story you can just feel good about then, hey, sign me the hell up!

Neill and Caton are both superb as the warring brothers and have a multitude of fine supporting cast members to bounce off, including the always superb Miranda Richardson. I haven’t seen anything else this director has put out to the world but I was hugely impressed with his vision here; and how large he wanted this small piece of the world to seem. Cinematography is great but come on how hard is it to make Australia look gorgeous really?.

I’m a fan of Rams for sure. Everyone is in their wheelhouse and, honestly, I thought the almost 2-jour runtime was going be a slog, especially considering how thread-bare the plot seemed but the film absolutely flies by and is entertaining from fade in to fade out.

**** 4/5

Signature Entertainment Presents Rams on digital platforms on February 5th.

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