Australian crime drama has violence, language, drugs.
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Transfusion is an Australian crime drama about a former special forces soldier, Ryan Logan (Sam Worthington), who must rebuild his life after suffering a person tragedy. The Violence is strong, with gunplay, knives, and hand-to-hand combat all featuring. There is blood, injury, and death, both in and out of a wartime setting. One character is shown self-harming. Language is strong and frequent, with variations of "c--t" and "f--k" both common. Drink and drugs also feature, and are used by both adults and teenage boys -- the latter with negative consequences. Ryan does his best to lead a good life and provide for his family. But his personal trauma hinders his ability to hold down a job and leads to him turning to crime. There is little diversity among the cast, with the main characters all White, Australian, and male. Masculinity and men's inability to deal with their emotions is one of the themes that is explored, with some concessions to other ethnicities and genders in the supporting cast, most notably Ryan's wife, Justine (Phoebe Tonkin).
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What's the Story?
TRANSFUSION follows ex-special forces operative Ryan Logan (Sam Worthington), who turns to crime to try and keep his family together.
Is It Any Good?
This Australian action flick is more thoughtful than your average testosterone-fueled crime thriller. Transfusion shows the slow-burn effect of a war hero struggling to cope with a particularly harsh return to everyday life. Cast as the troubled Ryan, Worthington internalizes grief and trauma to the point where we can almost read his thoughts. What lets down a promising character study is the abrupt, 10-year jump into the movie's second act. Ryan's now-teenage son Billy isn't given any time to develop on-screen, and Edward Carmody's shy and introspective performance never quite matches what we're told about him. Various flashback scenes lead to a lopsided script that further under-serves Billy's story. The rest is a cliched, repetitive tale of a principled former soldier -- ill-equipped for a civilian existence -- being drawn into a life of crime. Writer-director (and actor) Matt Nable delivers the pacing and the action, but we could've done with some variety. One nice, comic misdirect during a robbery scene shows that there was a bit more room here to maneuver. But instead we're robbed of any real surprises or tension.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the extreme violence in Transfusion. What impact did it have? What consequences were there? Does exposure to violent media desensitize kids to violence?
Discuss Ryan and Billy's relationship. How did it change over time, as their family dynamic altered?
Discuss the strong language used in the movie. Did it seem necessary or excessive? What did it contribute to the movie?
Talk about Ryan's motives. Why did he do what he did? Could you understand why? What else could he have done?
How were drinking, smoking, and drugs depicted? Were they glamorized? Were there consequences? Why does that matter?
- In theaters: March 3, 2023
- On DVD or streaming: March 3, 2023
- Cast: Sam Worthington, Matt Nable, Edward Carmody
- Director: Matt Nable
- Studio: Saban Films
- Genre: Thriller
- Run time: 106 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: violence, language throughout, teen drinking and drug use
- Last updated: March 11, 2023
Our Editors Recommend
The Place Beyond the Pines
Melancholy, mature drama explores father-son themes.
Well-acted war drama is too intense for kids.
Denzel's TV-based action thriller is violent but stylish.
For kids who love action and thrills
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