- Colin Fraser
BOSCH AND ROCKIT
TWO STARS A dope farming surfer has to skip town. He hides out in Byron Bay and takes his boy Rockit along for the ride.
DRAMA AUSTRALIA #BOSCHANDROCKIT
Starring Luke Hemsworth, Rasmus King
Sometimes you get the feeling that two stories are stuck together in the hope that their combined weight will create a bigger narrative and get it over the line. BOSCH AND ROCKIT is such a film. On one hand it seeks to champion the raw excitement of surfing in coastal Australia. But that was only going to get filmmaker Tyler Atkins about half way there. 40 minutes at most. On the other there’s a story about father and son learning the value of trust. That gives him another 50 minutes or so. Stick them together and presto!, he’s got a feature (with all the flaws this explanation implies).
Starring Luke Hemsworth as Bosch, here is a yarn about a drug-dealing farmer who has to skip town when his operation is uncovered during a bush fire. He takes his teenage son Rockit along for the ride since A) Bosch can’t leave him on his own and B) his alcoholic ex-wife won’t look after hm either. Rockit doesn’t know what his Dad does for a living and is convinced the pair are going on holiday. Cool, no school! They (predictably) head for Byron Bay and hide out in a surf hotel while the police (crooked, of course) try to find them. Meanwhile romance blossoms for both Bosch and Rockit.
This kind of story relies on credibility, exactly what BOSCH AND ROCKIT is missing. It’s hard to believe the boy doesn’t have some clues about his father’s line of work, even harder to credit that their sudden, inexplicable road trip is just a holiday. Then there’s the over-arching problem of largely ignoring Bosch’s criminality. You could argue he’s a low-level crook and that he’s doing all he can to care for his son. But he’s still a crook, and it’s not adequately addressed. As these moments pile up (free camping on Byron’s main beach anyone?), the opportunity to explore the systemic difficulties of being a single dad, or being the son of struggling father, are largely wasted.
But at least there’s the surf. Atkins’ cameras do a terrific job of capturing the thrill of riding Australia’s waters and these 40 minutes are captivating. But once they’re shackled to the ‘drama’ surrounding them - scene after scene robbed of impact by a lack of force, uneven pacing and choppy editing (not to mention an inexplicable personality jump-start and several false endings) - it’s well past time for the boys to pack up their boards and head home. We’ve certainly had enough.