Three troubled lives, two desperate lovers, one inescapable fate. Russell Crowe stars in an action-packed, suspense thriller that skirts the fine line between love, loyalty and deadly obsession. While honeymooning in Austr... more »alia, Midori (Youki Kudoh) deserts her husband to run off with her lover. When he gets cold feet, she's left alone and bewildered in a strange country. A trip to the bank to exchange money results in her being taken hostage, only to be saved by Colin (Crowe), the getaway driver. On the run, Midori's jilted husband and the authorities in hot pursuit, the pair set off on wild ride across the country, falling in love along the way.« less
Jeannine W. (jrelehw) from LONDONDERRY, NH Reviewed on 12/15/2007...
A tale of vengence. True love and bad karma. A tragedy with spots of humor and RC with side burns!
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Jen | Tacoma, WA USA | 07/06/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Like most of the films Russell Crowe made in Australia, Heaven's Burning flies off in directions that you would never have guessed. While it is mainly a romance, it's memorable for its sick sense of humor. This movie revels in the absurd, never taking itself too seriously. The plot is over-the-top, and the actors are smart enough to play their characters straight (with the exception of the vengeful husband, and ex Men-At-Work frontman Colin Hay's verbally abusive, wheelchair-driving hitchhiker). Even the movie's premise is a surprise, and therefore I don't want to reveal it. If you are only familiar with Russell Crowe's American films, Heaven's Burning is a great place to start viewing his Australian filmography. While the ending is a bit predictable and slightly unsatisfying, it is a wild, wild ride up to that point. This movie is kind of the middle of the road, as far as Crowe's characters go. He's not the lovable sweetie of Proof or Sum of Us, and he's not the agressive powerhouse of Romper Stomper or L.A. Confidential. Rather, he's something in between, but just as magnetic. I apologize for my rather vague review, but this movie really needs to seen the first time without any expectations. I will tell you that Crowe sports Elvis sideburns in this film, and that alone is worth seeing."
An Australian Road Movie Gone Awry
Jen | 06/20/1999
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Heaven's Burning is a love story. Boy meets girl, boy gets girl, boy and girl get into trouble. I don't want to blow the ending for you, but the title is indicative of the fate of our two lovers. Although the lead actors, Russell Crowe (Colin) and Youki Kudoh (Midori) try their best to establish a relationship, the film is too short to support any real character development. The plot is contrived; a young, innocent Japanese woman on her honeymoon with her staid, uninteresting husband, fakes her own kidnapping to be rid of him. Colin comes on the scene as a guy down on his luck and willing to do something illegal to solve his money problems. In a bank heist, for which Colin is the get away driver, Midori is taken hostage. Colin saves her from his companions and they set off across the outback. They are followed by Midori's jilted husband and the robbers who all seek vengence. The finale is fairly predictable and since you don't really get a chance to know these characters, sympathy for them at the end is limited. However, Russell Crowe is superb - you feel his fear when he is cornered in a hotel room by his pursuers, and the violence in that scene was so realistic that I could barely watch. There was a true element of the unpredictable that kept the viewer on the edge of his/her seat. The supporting cast does their job adequately, but in their defense they don't get enough screen time to do their make an impression. I would recommend it only to anyone who is interested in seeing Russell Crowe in an earlier work."
Fast paced action-romance immensely enjoyable
Jen | 06/24/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When my boyfriend picked out this film one Friday night it truthfully didn't look too appealing, but one does things for love. To my surprise though, I greatly enjoyed it and watched it twice, something I rarely do.I would have to agree with the other reviewer of this film that it really only appeals to Crowe fans. But the plot is good if not great. After a while I found myself growing bored of the Midori character. She seemed one dimensional and dull. Crowe is really the one who carried the film, he is a superb actor and brought this film up to a level it wouldn't have been at if not for him. I felt myself growing more and more concerned for him as the movie rolled along. As the other reviewer stated the hotel/torture scene was almost impossible to watch. His was so realistic and authentic. It was refreshing to see a leading man who had so much more going for him than an obsession with his genitals and testosterone. As a woman I get tired of watching male leads who are only concerned with killing and revenge, it was nice to see that he had true feelings for Midori not only an interest in sleeping with her. I would recommend this film to Russel Crowe fans but probably others would find the film dull; which is unfortunate because he is a fantastic actor."
Even the talented Crowe can't save this stinker
Karin Welss | Dublin, CA USA | 09/11/2000
(1 out of 5 stars)
"After seeing Gladiator earlier this summer, I've been tracking down and watching all of Mr. Crowe's backlist-- the good (LA Confidential; Romper Stomper; The Insider; The Sum of Us) the okay (Rough Magic; Mystery, Alaska; Breaking Up) and the bad (Virtuosity; The Quick and the Dead). All of these films featured a wonderful Russell Crowe performance.Now I've run across a film that even Mr. Crowe's immense acting talent and onscreen charisma can't save. I rented this film on VHS earlier this summer, and was really disappointed.The major problem I had with this film is that it's a hopeless mess. It suffers from genre indecision--- is it an bank-heist action flick? A female-empowerment flick? A road romance? A Thelma-and-Louise wannabe? It tries to be all of these things, and as a result the character motivations make little or no sense, the pacing is glacial, and the film's initial story question (will Midori finally work up the courage to leave her stifling existence) is soon dissipated in a pointless chase across the Outback mixing samurai revenge and ex-Afghan freedom fighters. There are a number of murders for no explicable reason, and the moment of spunk that Midori shows quickly bogs down in her endless and unconvincing monologues about how she's falling in love with Russell Crowe's character. None of the characters are sympathetic, and what the hell are they doing driving around the Outback, anyway? The climax of the movie hinges on the inexplicable decision of our two fugitive lovers to stop at a Bachelors and Spinsters Ball, where they are apparently the only attendees and the only reasonable motivation for doing so is the screenwriter's need to have a climactic confrontation.All in all, a very disappointing mishmash of lame plot and senseless action."
Russell Crowe and Australia - Need I say more?
Jen | 11/08/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The person who thought this movie couldn't decide what genre it wanted to be simply has not watched many Australian movies. That IS it's genre! I happened on to this on HBO and couldn't take my eyes off of it. Yes, it's quirky and it works. Russell Crowe is intense and the love scene focused on his face was incredible. I added it to my movie collection as soon as it was available."