Three sailors spend their last night ashore in Sydney before they sail for another tour of duty in Iraq. They have left a stressful and cruel event behind them on board ship and are sharing a city hotel room. Sam (played by Ewen Lesnie) was the victim in the humiliating incident at the hands of his fellow-sailors and is thinking of deserting; Harry (by Matthew Newton) is a larrikin ladies’ man who creates more trouble that he resolves and Dean (by Toby Schmitz) is a more conservative guy, ashore to see his fiance Sally (by Pia Miranda) and her parents (by Barry Otto and Heather Mitchell) before he departs. During the night, Sam meets waitress Emma (by Gracie Otto) and takes her to visit his mother (by Jacki Weaver) and grandfather (by Charles “Bud” Tingwell). The sailors are up for a night on the town and each experience drama and personal challenges during their night ashore. The story comes to a conclusion in the morning when it is time for them to rejoin the ship for roll call and departure.
The movie gets a bit tedious and flimsy in parts, but in general it is very good. The interactions and relationships throughout the drama are very well written and the sarcastic (often nasty) banter between the characters is great. In my view, the hand-held camerawork adds to the general feeling of chaos, which is fine and the excellent performances from the cast make the scenes really come to life. For an Australian movie, this has an impressive cast. In addition to those in key roles, we also see Marcus Graham, Brendan Cowell and Alex Dimitriades. Matthew Newton’s performance is particularly good. This movie is his second and he has done an excellent job.