3 out of 5
Directed by: Jeffrey Walker
The most engaging of the distinctly Aussie Jack Irish TV movies, while also (for the most part) being the most mundane. And unless I’m just getting used to the vibe, this didn’t feel like such a deep dive into Australian slang and culture, so perhaps there’s something to the accessibility of that.
Dead Tide finds Jack, as before, getting tangled up in bigger events thank to a smaller investigation: corruption and blackmailing on the tail of tracking down a particular person, who winds up dead after an opening (non-Jack related) car chase. However, unlike Bad Debts and Black Tide, the tangle isn’t happenstance or Jack sidling his way in, as the larger tendrils of the case are intrinsic to his original pursuit. Because of this, Dead Tide has none of the red herring / dead ends of the previous mysteries, each scene sensibly leading to the next; our accidental detective is actually doing detecting!
As has been an appreciative element from the start, Dead Tide once again benefits from the comforts of its well-rounded cast: Jack’s on-again / off-again reporter girlfriend; his gambling cronies; his police informant. And along with the more seamless storytelling, the way these characters become roped into events feels more organic as well.
The Jack Irish series hasn’t yet moved into any especially original territory, but its proven to be reliably entertaining, well-considered, and well acted.