29 February 2024

Force of Nature: The Dry 2: A slow moving follow-up to the Aussie crime masterpiece

| Jarryd Rowley
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Eric Bana does his best to elevate a disappointing follow up to The Dry

Force of Nature: The Dry 2 sees the return of Detective Aaron Falk, but the results are mixed. Photo: Screen Australia.

Since 2020, only a few Australian films have blown both audiences and critics away.

With the exception of 2023’s Talk to Me, Aussie films have been in a slight state of limbo. So when the 2021 crime thriller The Dry made its name by captivating audiences with its brilliant storytelling, superb lead performances and engaging mystery, it was fair to say there was some heightened anticipation for its sequel.

Unfortunately, Force of Nature: The Dry 2 doesn’t quite reach the fantastic heights of its predecessor and, as a result, leaves viewers with a flat feeling of disappointment.

Force of Nature: The Dry 2 again sees Detective Aaron Falk brought to a small town to investigate a potential crime. In this film’s case, a group of co-workers head to a rainforest for a hike with their CEO; however, upon their return, one of the workers is missing.

Detective Falk and his partner have only a few days to solve the mysterious circumstance of the disappearance before the town is submerged by a predicted flood. (Not very dry if you ask me.)

Production-wise, this film is very well put together.

Through its use of drab colours and ambient sound, the tone is moody and effective. The locations (mostly regional Victoria) are fantastic and showcase another side of Australia that isn’t just saturated desert.

The performances are also great. Eric Bana again brings his a-game, as does the entire cast.

The issue with this sequel is, well, it’s just a bit boring … The first film was intense and intriguing, so even the parts of the film that didn’t move as quickly were still engaging. The mystery was well constructed and so were the characters and situations.

Force of Nature, unfortunately, struggles to replicate the same amount of tension, and I believe this is purely because the mystery isn’t as captivating.

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The Dry‘s mystery was personal for Detective Falk; it was the death of a friend, so he had a lot of demons to confront. This made it more than just an episode of Law and Order: Special Bogans Unit. The sequel tries something similar, but it isn’t organic. The actors do their best to elevate it, but it’s just dry (excuse the pun).

Each reveal isn’t as hard-hitting as the original, either.

I remember thinking while watching the first film, ‘Oh, this is brilliant!’ whenever a new detail emerged. In the sequel, you’ll mumble to yourself, ‘OK, sure, I get it’.

By no means is this film awful; it’s not. It’s just painstakingly average.

There’s a mystery here for fans of the genre, and while it’s not as thought-provoking as the first film, it’s worth checking out for those who want to see more of Detective Falk. Unfortunately for me, a stale mystery and some forced character motivations struggle to elevate this to a great sequel.

Force of Nature: The Dry 2 is showing at cinemas across Australia.

Original Article published by Jarryd Rowley on Riotact.

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