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Film Review: In Like Flynn

Director:    Russell Mulcahy

Cast:    Thomas Cocquerel, Corey Large, William Moseley, David Wenham, David Hennessey, Isabel Lucas, Nathalie Kelley, Grace Huang, Costas Mandylor, Vanessa Moltzen, Clive Standen, Callan Mulvey

Rating:    PG

Running Time:    98

Australian Distributor:     Umbrella Entertainment


The biopic depicts Errol Flynn’s roust-about early life in Australia, before he became an internationally famed celebrity. In those days he was an adventurer, opium smuggler, gambler, street fighter, womanizer, and gold prospector. The film is based on Flynn’s early autobiography “Beam Ends”.  

In 1930, in the jungles of Papua New Guinea, whilst serving as a guide for a Hollywood producer, a young Errol Flynn (Thomas Cocquerel) discovers a trail that will lead to a fortune in gold.  Back on the streets of Depression-era Sydney, Flynn rounds up a ragtag crew including Rex (Corey Large), a Canadian ex-bootlegger, Dook (William Moseley), an English gentleman handy with a pistol and Charlie (Clive Standen), an old grizzler.

After stealing the Sirocco, a yacht belonging to Chinese opium smugglers, Flynn and crew set sail. They quickly learn just how treacherous a voyage up the Australian east coast can be, running afoul of drunken cowboys, corrupt cops and local thugs before being intercepted by Chinese pirates, who are hell bent on retrieving the Sirocco and the several pounds of opium stashed in its hold. As the motley crew make a final dash for New Guinea, Flynn is forced to learn what it means to be a real captain, and a master of his own destiny.  The sailing sequences are very enjoyable as we see the camaraderie develop between Flynn’s unlikely crew.   

The screenplay works effectively as an astute examination of how his world-famous persona was forged by his wild experiences. His close camaraderie with manly men is emphasized. Women are generally glamorous secondary figures here, though Rose (Isabel Lucas) and Achun (Grace Huang) have their moments.

With David Hirschfelder’s superb music score that captures the spirit of the swashbuckling, handsome adventurer, director Russell Mulcahy has crafted a wonderfully entertaining film filled with exotic locations, action and surprises.


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