Judge David Johnson's private detective firm has struggled since he failed to solve the Case of the Stinky Fart.
Our review of Jack Irish: Series 1 (Blu-ray), published September 19th, 2013, is also available.
Noir from down under.
Jack Irish (Guy Pearce, Lockout) is a sort-of decent private detective who can't seem to catch a break. Following the tragic death of his wife, Jack has been adrift, losing himself in his work and trying to maintain connections to his extended family. Series 2 (which is a bit misleading as there's just one 87-minute mystery on deck) finds Jack at a crossroads caught between an on-again/off-again romance with a radio journalist (Marta Dusseldorp) and a family friend caught in the middle of a vicious blackmailing scheme.
The mystery is called "Dead Point," and kicks off with a daring drug robbery and leads to a corpse in a car. The crime intersects with Jack's investigation on behalf of his father-in-law and as Jack digs deeper he discovers a web of corruption and a conspiracy that will leave more than a few bodies in its wake.
This is my first exposure to Jack Irish and I was intrigued initially because of Guy Pearce. His star power may have gotten me in the door, but there was enough good TV here to keep me hooked until the end. Is it the top of the heap as far as Acorn's mystery imports? Not quite. The central mystery isn't terribly strong and the payoff is far-fetched (the CGI explosion and the clunky action-like capper don't do it any favors either). And the villains at the heart of the conspiracy are cartoonish.
But it's Guy Pearce and Jack Irish who elevate the material. Jack is a flawed, vulnerable character, long in the tooth and forlorn. Life has smacked him around a great deal and Pearce, pro that he is, renders this characterization perfectly. What's nifty about Jack Irish is that he's flawed, but not in the usual "that dude is a hard drinker and womanizer and he once killed an Albanian white slaver with a hammer" way; he makes mistakes, can barely handle himself in a fight, and will usually run from danger rather than encounter it. In many ways, he's the opposite of the hard-boiled private detective; he's a beta-dick. And "Dead Point" is worthy of your time because of it.
Acorn serves up both a DVD and a Blu-ray, the latter sporting a clean 1.78:1/1080i transfer and a DTS-HD 2.0 Master Audio track. A phpt gallery and a seven minute offering of behind-the-scenes footage are your extras.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Acorn Media
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