Filmed in gut-wrenching 16mm with a hand held, this is a courageously unsparing film of a neo-Nazi skinhead gang in Melbourne (Australia) obsessed with the danger they perceive in the growing population of Vietnamese immigrants.
Although it has been criticized for "glorifying" skinheads and not taking a moral position against them, neither criticism is really well-founded.
It is clear that the director and the actors made a great effort to get inside the characters, to make them human beings -- however repulsive -- and not simply caricatures. Still, the skinhead lifestyle depicted is mean, mindless, unromantic and, ultimately, pointless. Which becomes clear at the end when the leader (brilliantly played by Crowe) commits one final act of brutal bullying. What was their message really?
Also, for all their posturing, they are mindless bullies, ganging up on isolated victims, and they are completely undone when faced with victims who join forces and fight back with the same intensity. By the end, all but one of the gang members is in jail or dead, which seems to me to be a pretty powerful moral statement.
It is surely not perfect but it features genuinely terrifying performances of men totally twisted and misshapen by hatred, frustration and fear, yet capable of genuine affection and tenderness towards their best friends.
I recommend renting this out if you have some appetite for gore and unflinching visuals.