Tag Archives: Richard Roxburgh

Through the Woods Busily

Force of Nature: The Dry 2

by George Wolf

For a film called The Dry 2, Force of Nature is often soaking wet. And that’s pretty indicative of a movie that seems intent on working against itself.

Writer/director Robert Connolly and star Eric Bana return from 2020’s The Dry, again adapting a Jane Harper source novel about an Australian federal agent on a case that stirs up painful memories. The first one dealt with a drought, so The Dry. This one occurs in the middle of a nasty storm, but it’s a sequel, so The Dry 2.

Let’s move on.

Bana is agent Aaron Falk, who teams with partner Carmen (Jacqueline McKenzie) to find a missing woman named Alice (Anna Torv).

Alice had gone hiking in a mountain range with four co-workers, but the team building exercise went awry. When rescuers finally reached the women, Alice could not be found.

So what really happened in those woods? It’s a simple but effective setup, and the film is gripping only when it sticks to pulling on that thread.

But Connolly also indulges time-shifting layers about Alice’s work as an undercover corporate whistleblower, about these very same woods being the scene of a notorious serial killer’s crimes, and about a traumatic event from Falk’s childhood that also occurred here.

That’s a busy day, mate.

And The Dry 2 is a busy film, albeit a very well-crafted one.

Bana and the supporting cast (including Robin McLeavy, Deborra-Lee Furness, and Richard Roxburgh) are first rate, cinematographer Andrew Commis provides some lush and often rain-soaked majesty, and each piece of the puzzle sports some fine edges.

But together, those pieces push and pull against each simultaneously, always undercutting the tension before it really gets its hooks in.