“The Dry,” released over three years ago, emerged as a standout crime mystery set in rural Australia, adapted from Jane Harper’s bestselling novel. It skillfully captured the atmosphere of the small community, drawing significant local audiences and earning substantial box office returns.
However, its sequel, “Force of Nature,” seems unlikely to resonate as strongly with Australian viewers. The film falls short of the high standards set by its predecessor, primarily due to a convoluted and uninspiring mystery at the heart of the screenplay.
In “Force of Nature,” director Robert Connolly attempts to adapt another of Jane Harper’s novels but falls short due to underdeveloped characters and a lack of surprises in the storyline.
The film revolves around characters who all seem to have something to hide and become argumentative when questioned about it. This leads to a narrative filled with confusion and tension but lacking in coherence for the audience.
Once again, federal police officer Aaron Falk, played by Eric Bana, takes center stage as he investigates a missing person case involving a woman named Alice, who is also linked to a corporate corruption case Falk is working on.
In “Force of Nature: The Dry 2,” the plot revolves around the possibility of foul play in the disappearance of Alice during a bushland hiking expedition. There’s also the subplot of a USB drive that could expose a major conspiracy, known only to protagonist Aaron Falk and his second-in-command.
However, the film suffers from a poorly developed storyline and unlikable characters, leading to lackluster performances from the cast. Eric Bana’s role as Falk feels underwritten, while Anna Torv’s portrayal of Alice fails to evoke sympathy.
Even seasoned actors like Deborra-Lee Furness and Richard Roxburgh struggle with their characters, who come across as unpleasant and one-dimensional. “Force of Nature: The Dry 2” is currently showing in cinemas.