Swerve Blu-ray Review

A car zooms down the dirty highway, kicking up dust behind it. The driver, with a silver briefcase by his side, outraces a train to get to its destination: the middle of the desert. Waiting for him is another man, a drug runner, with another briefcase. He sets a timer and waits for the explosion. Moments later, a white convertible speeds down the highway with a beautiful girl in the driver’s seat. She’s on her way out of town with a bag of her own. Somewhere behind her is a man in a far less stylish car, who arrives just in time to tend to the damage caused in the deadly accident between the girl and the drug runner.


The man, Colin (David Lyons, 2013’s SAFE HAVEN), meets up with the town’s sheriff, Frank (Jason Clarke, who’s set to play John Connor in TERMINATOR: GENESIS), who just so happens to be the husband of the girl, Jina (Emma Booth, 2007’s CLUBLAND). For no clear reason, Frank offers out-of-towner Colin a room in his house. And so begins the tale of money and betrayal that is sure to end with a few more bodies out there in the desert.


As time passes, it’s revealed that Frank is abusive, Jina is sick of it and Colin is in way over his head (and should probably turn it when his new friend takes her swimsuit off in the pool). As more time passes, we’re introduced to a mysterious man named Charlie (Travis McMahon, KOKODA: 39TH BATTALION), who racks up a couple of kills in his first hour or so in town (and also happens to look like he was kicked out of a forgotten boy band some twenty years ago) and plays a part in the viewer becoming unsure just who there is to trust, if anyone.


Writer/director Craig Lahiff (2002’s BLACK AND WHITE, 1997’s HEAVEN’S BURNING) is clearly a fan of movies such as BLOOD SIMPLE. Unfortunately, his apparent passion just comes off as a poorly conceived mimic. Whereas BLOOD SIMPLE (and other movies of that nature) used its twists in natural and effective ways, SWERVE just throws them in there to pretend to be clever and give the leads something to do.


Despite how big the surrounding area is, these characters keep getting mixed up with each other, when it should be a bit easier for them to burn rubber and head for the horizon. And, really, with the number of bad decisions they make—shouldn’t Colin try a little harder to get to that job interview? Can’t Jina just hop in a car and make a new life elsewhere?— it’s hard to root for any of them to come out on top in the end. Much of the trouble comes from the script being so sloppy and not making it clear if we’re even supposed to be pulling for anyone to get away with whatever it is they’re trying to get away with.

SWERVE is the last movie directed by Lahiff, who died less than two years after the movie premiered in his native Australia.


Video: 2.35:1 in 1080p with MPEG-4 AVC codec. Cohen Media Group’s Blu-ray of SWERVE looks quite good and features fine details in both daytime exteriors and the darker interiors.

Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English 5.1 Dolby Digital. Subtitles in English. The dialogue is clear throughout, but this audio transfer is at its best when the cars speed and the score kicks in.

Interviews with Cast and Crew: Compiled here are short interviews with Jason Clarke (3:38), Travis McMahon (1:43), Robert Mammone (1:30) and editor Sean Lahiff (2:17).

Theatrical Trailer


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