Stephen McCallum’s feature directorial debut 1% is a great showcase of Australian talent, following the vice president of a bikie club as he is forced to choose between his brother and allegiance to his superior.
1% is one of those films that puts you right into the midst of a situation with no exposition or information beforehand, we are shown and not told which in this case is executed perfectly as within minutes you can easily ascertain who these people are and what has transpired in the moments before the film begun.
The story is basic, but it’s meant to be as the performances and direction carry the film, making it a real joy to watch even if you don’t think you would necessarily be into a “bikie” film.
Ryan Corr plays the lead character who after being blackmailed by a rival gang is forced to try to convince his boss to make a deal. In my mind there are two stand out performances here, Matt Nable (who also penned the screenplay) gives a really meaty performance here as the President of the club, amplified by the fact he really bulked up for the role, we get perhaps a much deeper layered character than the usual “generic gang leader” in most films of this type.
The other fantastic performance here would have to be Aaron Pederson who plays the leader of the rival bikie gang as an unstable utterly insane character, and is by far my favourite performance in this film even though he has a fairly limited screen time.
McCallum directs extremely well for a feature debut which when combined with some great editing provides great pacing and really kept me engaged for the whole time.
1% is a great example that a simple setup executed well can yield fantastic results with the right writer, director and cast, it is a quintessentially Australian film showcasing some great talent and for me this sits right up with Cargo as my second favourite Australian film of the year.
1% is in cinemas October 18th from Icon Films, who provided me with a screener for this review.