REVIEW: Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom
Directed by: David Michod
Written by: David Michod
Starring: James Frecheville, Guy Pearce, Jacki Weaver, and Ben Mendelsohn

It’s easy to draw parallels between this movie’s title and its application to the crime world; monologues about “survival,” followed by several repeated shot sequences of these characters doing the same thing- carrying prey, guns.  We get it, people are just like animals: violent, repetitive and, as it turns out, kind of boring.

Gangster movies are often punctuated with a searing critique of the culture where the gang resides.  The Godfather and Goodfellas immortally critiqued the American Dream, and the more recent Gomorrah showed Italy and humanity rotting from the inside out.  Lesser gang films often reward the viewer with shocking scenes of violence and perversely profane characters to reward them for sitting through the message.  To an extent this is what Animal Kingdom does, though the most interesting characters are the ones who seem normal on the surface (isn’t that always the case?)

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