The Real Slum Shady

Chopper's sunless vision of a Down Under underworld is bleak to no end

Read 'em and weep: Eric Bana in Chopper
Read 'em and weep: Eric Bana in Chopper

Like most dares, Chopper doesn't offer much of a payoff, other than the knowledge that you've faced up to its arbitrary challenge. "Narrative liberties have been taken," we're warned at the outset. "It is not a biography." In fact, most of these stories are drawn from Read's Australian bestsellers. But Dominik quickly glosses over Chopper's newfound celebrity as the film closes--he doesn't even indulge in the clumsy satire of our infatuation with stars à la Natural Born Killers. The end result offers too much dare and too little truth.

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