BOB HART OUT OF THE BOX

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Tuesday -

WARM­HEARTED gang­sters: If they ex­ist, watch­ing this home-grown black com­edy will prob­a­bly con­vince you that you can live with­out them. Longer.

They can be good for a laugh. But when they tell a joke, you may have to wade through the bloody off-cuts from a chain-sawed corpse to get to the punch line. Yes, this is deeply, darkly, funny stuff.

Gary Sweet, as wacky and dan­ger­ous cut-price Mel­bourne crime boss Barry Don­ald, finds him­self en­trusted with the sort of role no­body has tossed his way be­fore.

And he’s very, very good. And funny. Also, he is so con­vinc­ingly men­ac­ing that, even if he was ter­ri­ble in the role, who in their right mind would say so? The vibe is bud­get So­pra­nos with­out the ex­cel­lent food, cool threads and ther­a­pist. Here, we find our­selves in seamy, slimy sub­ur­bia.

Or, as Cathy Pic­colo (Sacha Hor­ler) says of her Christ­mas cel­e­bra­tions to her ab­sent hus­band Tony (Steve Le Mar­quand), who is off end­ing the life of an old friend to amuse the boss: ‘‘ It’s like be­ing trapped in some pa­thetic sub-

Wacky: Gary Sweet

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