Ned Kelly (2004) In the great tradition of "The Marrying Man" and "Gigli" comes another dud lending credence to the maxim that on-set romantic sparks result in inexplicably…
Review

Ned Kelly (2004)

EW's GRADE
C-

Details Release Date: Jul 27, 2004; DVD Release Date: Jul 27, 2004; Movie Rated: PG-13; Genre: Drama; With: Orlando Bloom and Heath Ledger; Distributor: Focus

In the great tradition of ''The Marrying Man'' and ''Gigli'' comes another dud lending credence to the maxim that on-set romantic sparks result in inexplicably chemistry-free movies. Aside from getting Naomi Watts out of the deal, Ledger might wish he'd filmed the story of Ned Beatty or Ned Flanders, any Ned but the real-life 19th-century outlaw who's an icon in Australia and a nonentity in the rest of the world -- a disparity only enhanced by this dully serious ''Western.'' A 1970 version was loopy enough that Mick Jagger's casting as the gunslinger with a bushy beard Down Under his chin was out-weirded by the Waylon Jennings-sung score. The tip-off to how dreadfully straight and pallid the latest take is: nearly nonstop orchestral swelling that foreshadows the beloved antihero's martyrdom.

EXTRAS A featurette examines Kelly biopics dating back to the silent era, and a still gallery spotlights an ad campaign focusing on individual stars -- even Watts and Geoffrey Rush, who merited their own posters despite turning in virtual cameos.

Originally posted Aug 06, 2004 Published in issue #777 Aug 06, 2004 Order article reprints