AVENGERS OF THE REEF
Australia, 1973, 84 minutes, Colour.
Simon Drake, Biu Rarawi, Noel Ferrier, Tim Elliot, Gary Mc Donald, Judy Morris.
Directed by Chris Mc Cullough.
Avengers of the Reef is a boys’ own action adventure, aimed at the young audience. It appeared very early in the Australian film renaissance of the 1970s.
The film has some Sydney locations but is an action adventure in Fiji, utilising the natural beauties of that country and the beauties of Pacific islands. The film also raises a number of environmental issues.
However, the film is a portrait of criminals and their pursuit of the young boys. Veteran actors Noel Ferrier, Tim Elliott and Garry McDonald? appear as the criminals.
The popular kind of story that young audiences used to enjoy and, perhaps, still do.
1. How enjoyable a film was this? For what age group was it made? For boys of for girls? Was it a success within these limits?
2. Did it seen to be a real story? or was it an imaginative adventure story? Why?
3. The initial Australian touch and the atmosphere of Sydney? The criminals located in the Sydney atmosphere, the background of scientists the ecological questions about the barrier reef?
4. The atmosphere of criminals and danger? the comic aspects of Mr Big and his assistant? The lack of organization? Noel Ferrier and his nastiness? The criminals as nasty but not too nasty? The threat of death but no actual deaths?
5. The importance of the plane trip and the menace of his pursuing criminal? The setting of the scene with Tim and his father, their relationship, the scientific background, the nature of the plot and the threat?
6. How attractive was Fiji, the background of the scenery, the films attention to detail, the beauty of the landscapes, the variety of the terrain? the British look of Fiji, the native look, customs, cities and modern transport? voodoo, and the fire-walkers etc? How enjoyable did the Fijian atmosphere make the film?
7. The presentation of the boys; their age, their courage, the companionship of black and white, their friendship the mutual leadership, the making of decisions? A good presstation of young boys facing such challenges?
8. How likable were Tim and Sai? Were they credible, could audiences identify with them, share their feelings, the puzzle and the danger, the desperate nature of the chase, the fear of death, the heroism in the final achievement?
9. How successful was the film with its chase structure? How well was this illustrated in the plot line? In the different locations, the boys means of evading the criminal, the ingenuity of the criminals of chasing them in so many ways?
10. How sinister was the criminal chasing them? His passport, pretending to be Tim's father, the open chase, the dangers, the various escapades, the final threat to his life? the irony of his continually going to Sydney?
11. How important was it that Tim's father should remain alive? His involvement in the search for the boys? The role of the police?
12. How was the adventure balanced by comic touches? How enjoyable were these?
13. Comment on the films presentation of such details as the fire in the cane, the driving of the train, the waterfall? the bus?
14. The significance of the superstitious atmosphere, size of the island, the pursuit by the man who wanted to be chief, the dream sequences? The shared danger for Tim and for Sia, each within his own culture?
15. How successful was the combined resolution of both being chased? Tim united with his father, Sia recovering from his illness? The final ceremonies?
16. Why do young audiences enjoy such adventures? The significance of the title?