No term as despised as ‘remake’. It’s right up there with ‘reboot’ and ‘sequel’. The very mention of it can send shivers down my spine, especially when carefully crafted foreign films get a lazy Yankee do-over. But what happens when a critically acclaimed Icelandic film gets an Ozzie twist?
Colin (Sam Neill) and Les (Michael Caton) are rivalling sheep farmers and brothers, living side by side on the same piece of land. They haven’t spoken in years though nobody really knows why. When a dangerous virus infects the flock their already strained relationship is subjected to even more stress. Will they bend, break or band together?
Caton, as the drunk and course Les, and Kiwi National Treasure Neill as the more personable Colin have a great onscreen chemistry going. Even though they’re rarely in the same room and never exchange much more than a few grunts, their relationship at the heart of this film works like a charm.
Transporting the story from the grim and cold surroundings of Iceland to the warm and far more welcoming Australian West also informs the feel of the movie. ‘Hrútar’ had heaps of dry wit that ‘Rams’ very easily translates into something slightly more amiable and easy to digest. The film does end up outstaying its welcome a bit, adding a good thirty minutes onto the originals 90 minute runtime.
It doesn’t surpass the original, but thanks to the talent involved Rams ends up being more than just an hasty rehash.
Signature Entertainment Presents ‘Rams’ on Digital Platforms 5th February
Review – ‘Rams’
Reviewed online (screener provided by Signature Entertainment), January 28, 2021. Rating: PG. Running time: 118 min.
PRODUCTION: (UK) A Signature Entertainment release of a WBMC production. Producers: Janelle Landers, Aidan O’Bryan.
CREW: Director: Jeremy Sims. Screenplay: Jules Duncan (based on the film by Grímur Hákonarson. Cinematography: Steve Arnold. Editing: Marcus D’Arcy. Score: Antony Partos.
CAST: Sam Neill, Michael Caton, Miranda Richardson, Asher Keddie, Wayne Blair, Leon Ford, Asher Yasbincek, Will McNeill.