It’s a relief to walk into the cinema and not watch formulaic trash. The Bang Bang Club is quite simply a true story, well told. It is a film that is not predictable, is genuinely captivating and is a great eye opener into a turbulent time in our nation’s history.
The central characters are strong and the film is shot with a very visceral feel. The whole thing looks like a piece of video journalism – gritty, and downbeat.
Ryan Phillippe has always had the charisma to pull off a great leading man and he is suitably aided by Frank Rautenbach (Faith Like Potatoes and Hansie) who plays the leader of the club, Ken Oosterbroek. It was a great idea and I’m sure helpful to the foreign actors to have a strong, local actor like Rautenbach portraying Oosterbroek.
As far as accents are concerned, (because lets be honest, that’s what everyone will ask), Phillippe’s accent is bearable. I think Matt Damon and Tom Jane are still top of the charts when it comes to the SA accent. Taylor Kitsch however, who plays Kevin Carter, unfortunately may pull off the worst South African accent in history. Is he trying to impersonate Gerard Butler? He sounds like a drunk Scot. It’s shame really because his physical and emotional portrayal of Carter is very intriguing to watch and the accent really is the only detractor in this otherwise solid film.