For someone who grew up only a couple of hundred kilometres from the scene of the Aromoana shootings, it is difficult to write an unbiased review. Factually, "Out of the Blue" is as accurate an account as it is possible to bring to the big screen, and the acting, scenery, and atmosphere are flawless. The movie's relevance for a U.S. audience is as a societal lens that focuses on the many equivalent shooting tragedies that beset the United States year after year. That such alienation and hatred can be felt in a small town in a land far, far away amidst backdrops like those seen in "The Lord of the Rings," rather than at a U.S. university campus or a McDonald's is a reflection on the ubiquity of selfishness, sickness, and guns.
No one wants to see a hyper-accurate account of Cho Seung-hui in the days preceding the Virginia Tech massacre, but viewing a similar downward spiral and the resulting tragedy may be easier for many audiences at a distance of 10,000 miles as a small New Zealand town faces down a demon in the form of David Gray. The courage displayed by little old ladies crawling about under fire to help others can only give hope to us all, and the final scene where Gray is roughly shackled and the police smoke cigarettes while he bleeds out is a satisfying glimpse of Kiwi justice. ANZUS is the Australia, New Zealand, United States treaty alliance, a commonality written in ink; "Out of the Blue" is a commonality we share through tragedy. Is this a review of events or a movie- you may well ask- but sometimes the two are inextricable, and the only way to face down the incomprehensible is through the medium of film.