Action / Drama / War

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 71%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 55%
IMDb Rating 6.2 10 2513


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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by bear-183 8 / 10

Kokoda on a human scale

While this film is not without it's flaws, it is definitely worth seeing. I found the dialogue hard to distinguish at times, and the plot line takes a little sorting out but the visuals work to stunning effect. It is a film that evokes a visceral (not to say gut-wrenching) response; one that brings the viewer much closer to understanding the nerve-jangling, terrifying experience of war, and the fortitude required to endure it.

Grierson's starting point are the words of the Isurava Memorial. It was the 'courage, mateship, endurance and sacrifice' of the boys and men of the 39th, 2/14th and 2/16th battalions, that bound these ordinary individuals together into a force stronger than the combined effects of their circumstances and the Japanese army.

The film is graphic in its depiction of the demands that that environment makes upon you physically. Though while watching it you might not feel the strength sapping jungle humidity or smell the stench of battle and its aftermath, you're left in no doubt about the challenges placed on human bodies by dysentery and malaria.

This is no glorification of war, but its grim and gritty reality. Seeing the film will help you appreciate the efforts of those who were there.

Reviewed by Peter Collins 8 / 10

I wish there were more like "Kokoda"

After years of forgettable comedies, and unmeaning stories along comes something important - Kokoda. A daring, gritty, warts and all account of the harsh jungle environment our men were thrusts into as Australia's last line of defence against the Japanese Empire.

Excellently filmed and presented Kokoda delivers on most levels and despite the budget restrictions, and some shaky dialogue it overcome's all obstacles telling a personal, in your face account of brotherhood and the adversity of war, rather then a historical portrait.

This film is not for the squeamish, it has its gore but only adds to the realism of the events. The story is well rounded and never loses its grip, the performances are good too providing a solid 90 minutes of consequential drama.

Working with such a tight budget the cast and crew have done extremely well on this outing. This is the best Australian film I have seen in years, bar none. I wish we'd stop being so safe, I wish there were more Australian films like Kokoda.

Reviewed by nobbytatoes 7 / 10

iconic point of Australian history

In the mountainous terrain of New Guinea, is the Kokoda trail. A small band of improperly trained and ill equipped soldiers have to keep the advancing Japanese troops, threatening to over take Australia. The Japanese outnumber them one hundred to one; though this isn't their only threat; disease and injured soldiers are dropping like flies, holding out till the back up forces arrive.

Kokoda is a vividly created film on Australia's last stand against the Japanese army. Not covering all of war in New Guinea, we are only shown a small part, focusing in the fight of this small band of soldiers. Director Alister Grierson draws out the gritty detail of the land; the mud and rain in the claustrophobic rain forest. The are scenes of great intensity that play out like a horror film, mixed with some beautiful cinematography by Jules O'Loughlin.

Iconic part of Australian history aside, Kokoda isn't that great of a war film. Though struck with budget restraints, the problem lies within the script. The first acts seems omitted, plunging us right into action, there's not a lot of setup. The Characters aren't fleshed out, we don't know who these people are, making it hard to make an emotional connection; even though your placed right in the horror with them.

In a great performance, Jack Finsterer is amazing as Jack, leader of the small band of soldiers. Equally great is Travis McMahon as the hot-headed Darko. The rest of the cast doesn't compare to Jack and Travis, with cameos from Shane Bourne and William McInnes.

While Kokoda is not a epic war film, for which it should have been, Kokoda is a wonderful experience, paying homage to our war heroes.

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