The film of the same name is a cult classic, but can Stan’s new original series Romper Stomper live up to the hype?
The series hits the ground running when it opens at a Halal festival where Blake Farrand (Lachy Hulme, Offspring), leader of the right-wing group Patriot Blue, is shouting hate speech into a megaphone.
Also arriving on the scene is the hard-left anti-fascist movement led by Petra (Lilly Sullivan, Picnic At Hanging Rock) which causes violence to erupt.
During the fight Kane (Toby Wallace, Paper’s War) and his best mate Stix (Kaden Hartcher, The Warriors) manage to rescue Blake and his wife Zoe (Sophie Lowe, The Slap), and with that Kane, who has secrets of his own, begins to gain his trust.
Caught up in the violence are three young Lebanese Muslim characters- Farid (Julian Maroun, Janet King) a nurse at an aged care facility, his girlfriend Laila (Nicole Chamoun, City Homicide) a student who is thrust into the limelight to serve one sides agenda, and Malik (Jamie Abdallah) Farid’s brother and talented MMA fighter. In the background to these stories, Cindi (Markella Kavengah) is trying to escape juvenile detention and plays a much larger part in the series as it develops.
The series opening hour which was written and directed by Geoffrey Wright, who also wrote the original film, opens with a bang and then slows things down that allows the audience to get to know each group and their motives and see how they are affected.
The casting is top notch with Toby Wallace providing a captivating performance as the mysterious Kane. Having Jacqueline McKenzie and Dan Wyllie reprise their roles as Gabe and Crackles from the film is a nice touch and how they fit into the series is just brilliant. While the series theme of patriotism maybe controversial, it is still relevant in today’s society.
The first episode sets up the series and lays the groundwork for an at times uncomfortable but thrilling ride. Clear your New year’s plans
4.5 stars /5
Romper Stomper premiers on New Years Day on Stan