"Lost and Found in the Outback"
What You Need To Know:
BUCKLEY’S CHANCE is a slow-moving, lackluster, but sensitive, drama about a dysfunctional family that tries try to make peace with their pasts and connect with each other. The movie focuses too much on its backstory, where nothing really happens. RIDLEY’S CHANCE has a strong moral worldview that extols family and some redemptive content promoting forgiveness. However, there are several scenes with guns, kidnapping and brief foul language. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for older pre-teen children.
BUCKLEY’S CHANCE is about a 13-year-old boy, Ridley, who moves from New York City with his mother to his grandfather’s house in western Australia, a year after the death of his father. Met with a cool welcome, Ridley quickly realizes that his grandfather, Spencer, is an extremely bitter man. Spencer’s relationship with his son had been estranged for decades. Ridley and Gloria are unwanted and unwelcome but tolerated because they’re family.
The grieving widow, Gloria, pleads with her son to give the Australian outback life a chance. Cooper, a family friend and farm hand, urges patience. He assures Gloria that Spencer is a good and fair man, though she doesn’t see any evidence of that. In fact, Spencer admits he doesn’t want his daughter-in-law and grandson. Ridley overhears him asserting they are nothing but a burden, but he feels compelled to accept them.
Spencer tries to connect with his grandson by taking him along on a “walkabout.” Ridley had never used a gun before. Even so, Spencer gives him a shotgun and instructs him to kill a dingo, or wild dog. The two find some common interest. Ridley interviews Spencer on wilderness survival, using a video camera given to him by his father.
However, problems erupt again when Spencer refers to his late son as a pain. Ridley confides that he knows his grandfather doesn’t want him there, so he runs away. Before he can get far, however, he overhears two thugs trying to burn down the family property. Ridley gets caught up in the melee and is kidnapped.
Ridley escapes from the two goons. Trying to find home, he’s lost in the dangerously hot outback, however. A dingo, Buckley, who Ridley helps out of a trap, is Ridley’s only friend. Buckley protects and guides the boy along the way. When Ridley lands himself unconscious and surrounded by fire, he needs more than a dingo to save him.
Meanwhile, Spencer shows some fatherly care and assures Gloria they’ll find her missing son. Will they get there in time, however?
BUCKLEY’S CHANCE is a slow-moving, sensitive movie about a dysfunctional family that tries try to make peace with their pasts and connect with each other. Too much of the movie is focused on the backstory where nothing really happens, which slows down the movie’s pace a great deal. The movie contains redemptive content which, is surrounded by the need for strong family ties. There are several scenes with guns, some violence, kidnapping, and ten uses of foul language. Caution for older children is recommended.