The Last Wave Review
By Christopher Null
What you say? Aussie lawyer Richard Chamberlain takes a strange trip into his psyche (he constantly dreams of floods and tsunamis) and into Aboriginal mysticism when he defends a young native against a murder charge. The Aborigine takes him into the sewers, where he is pelted with questions like "Are you a fish!? Are you a snake!? Are you a man!?" We're going with fish, but that's just us.
I've never really understood the fascination with this film, widely heralded as a masterpiece from Peter Weir (more widely known now for The Truman Show). It's creepy to watch Chamberlain's David Burton get sucked deeper and deeper into a freaky end-of-the-world prophecy and a secret society living underground (half of which is revealed through dreams, with David bolting awake screaming, every 10 minutes), but drawing any kind of useful conclusion from the film is difficult. (And the nonstop didgeridoo music is enough to drive you crazy.) I've seen the movie a few times and continue to wonder what the point was supposed to be.
Criterion's DVD release does little to explain the film's mysteries, though an interview with Peter Weir reiterates that yes, this is merely a fantasy.
Facts and Figures
In Theaters: Monday 1st January 1979
Box Office Worldwide: $1.3M
Distributed by: Cowboy Pictures
Production compaines: Australian Film Commission
Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 87%
Fresh: 13 Rotten: 2
Cast & Crew