Smoothie reviews the new Australian drama from writer/director Tyler Atkins.
Being the professional that I am (and sure, maybe because I knew he’d be attending the screening) I made it my business to learn as much as I could about actor turned director Tyler Atkins’ work before viewing his debut feature Bosch & Rockit.
Watching his previous performances, interviews and especially the music video he made for Andrew Stockdale’s Slipstream, one thing became immediately clear about Tyler Atkins:
The man absolutely adores surfing.
It’s no surprise then that this is the key motif he takes into Bosch & Rockit, a film inspired by his own experience growing up on the Gold Coast.
Newcomer Rasmus King stars as Rockit, a teenage boy with a troubled home life who’s only escape is riding the crystal clear waves of an unnamed coastal town.
Luke Hemsworth (now officially the most talented of his famous brothers) leads the movie as Rockit’s well meaning but screw up father, Bosch.
Bosch pays the bills by growing and selling huge amounts of pot with his surfer mates, but when circumstances out of his control land Bosch on the hit list of a brutal drug kingpin, he and Rockit go on the run to stay one step ahead of those in pursuit.
Much like Rockit himself, the filmmakers seem most as home in the water. The film returns to serene, slow motion shots of our characters surfing every chance they get.
I understand why. The shots themselves are breath-taking. Atkin’s passion combines perfectly with cinematographer Ben Nott’s experience behind the lens.
But just like this review, Bosch & Rockit definitely spends too much time worrying about the surfing.
In fact, my biggest criticisms of the film boil down to the time spent on things that ultimately don’t matter.
Isabel Lucas features as Deb, a nature photographer who, for reasons never made clear in the film, falls for Bosch and puts herself in harms way to help him out. Lucas herself is solid but I’m just not sure what the character is supposed to add to the story.
Cutting back to the villainous drug lords only interrupts the pace of the film, even if there’s an argument these scenes work thematically.
And while the performance of Savannah La Rain as Rockit’s young love interest Ash-Ash deserves plenty of praise, and the scenes she shares with King only become stronger as the movie progresses…
Still the character herself felt a little underdone.
Now with all of that out of the way, Bosch & Rockit has something very important at its core that DOES work.
The story of parenthood, failure and ultimately forgiveness is beautifully told.
Bosch and Rockit themselves ooze honesty and authenticity.
Whether they’re checking into a motel, riffing new identities or venting their trauma through screams and tears, every interaction between our two leads is on par with any drama you’re likely to see at the cinema this year.
Rasmus King and Luke Hemsworth deserve a tremendous amount of credit for what they were able to accomplish in these roles, especially considering this is King’s first acting job ever!
The honesty of Atkin’s story and the great love he has for these characters makes it a very emotional watch.
Bosch & Rockit is a film that gets distracted more often than I’d like, but there’s no denying its great big heart.
Bosch & Rockit begins in Australian cinemas August 18.