Australia is big and bold and brash - although one wouldn't expect less from director Baz Luhrmann, whose vocabulary doesn't include words like "restrained" and "low-key." A would-be epic on a grand, David Lean-inspired scale, Australia falls far short of intentions and expectations. (One wonders whether rumored studio meddling has anything to do with this.) The problems are numerous - a meandering screenplay, a too-long running time, an uneven tone, and a lack of real emotional punch. It looks great, but the same comment can be made about Michael Bay's Pearl Harbor, which shares more than a passing resemblance. Both are fictional melodramas that play out against an historical backdrop where the invented characters and circumstances are dwarfed into insignificance by the real events that establish the setting.
See www.reelviews.net for full review