Jack Irish: Bad Debts

3 out of 5

Directed by: Jeffrey Walker

Ah, the common-man mystery tale.  God bless ’em.  And god bless the Jack Irish series, which just goes full bore, unapologetic Aussie with the whole thing, with thick as pitch accents and slang that ain’t contextualized, and an Australian cast, and Australian source material.  It’s all a bit convoluted – pedophilia, shady land deals, mob factions – for what boils down to something fairly predictable, once you’ve seen / heard most of the pieces, but having a wonderful central duo of ex-lawyer-turned-debt-collector Guy Pearce and vigilant reporter Marta Dusseldorp is a gigantic plus in the Charm column, and the story moves with a brisk but decisive pace to keep us engaged.

There’s fridging; there’s some disposable sexing; i.e. the somewhat dated masculine view that unfortunately tends to dominate these pulpy crime thrillers, but it’s not especially overt, and again, our cast carries us far above the surface of that particular pit, as does the focused direction and playful score.

A worthwhile, though average, detective-lite flick, energized by how unabashedly Australian it is.