Perth (3 stars)

(18) 111min

The title isn’t where this Singapore film is set; it’s simply the city in Australia that our central character dreams of moving to, a place without the corruption and poverty of his immediate surroundings. Our anti-hero is disillusioned cabbie Harry (Lim Kay Tong), whose wife has walked out after a severe beating. He’s looking for redemption Taxi Driver style. Unsurprisingly he thinks the best way to do this is to protect a prostitute whom he sees as the personification of innocence. Writer/director Djinn (Voodoo Nightmare, By Dawn’s Early Rise) directs with a violent energy but the screenplay is strewn with clichés and hand-me downs from various mainstream films. Sometimes we’re clearly meant to see these verbal clichés as a product of Harry’s own clumsily obvious take on life, but on other occasions it’s as if the filmmaker wants us to take the clunkiness – both in word and image – straight. Extras include Djinn and Lim Kay Tong commentaries, and a behind the scenes featurette.

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