Top critical review
30 people found this helpful
An Australian Road Movie Gone Awry
on June 19, 1999
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.