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Force of Nature: The Dry 2              review by Bobby Blakey

In 2020 Eric Bana teamed up with director Robert Connolly for the film The Dry based on the book by Jane Harper. Now they have reteamed for the next chapter Force of Nature: The Dry 2 based on Harper’s 2017 novel Force of Nature. The film co-stars Anna Torv, Deborra-lee Furness, Robin McLeavy, Sisi Stringer, Lucy Ansell, Jacqueline McKenzie, Jeremy Lindsay-Taylor, Richard Roxburgh, Tony Briggs and Kenneth Radley, but is it another mystery worth solving or should it have stayed lost in the woods?

Force of Nature: The Dry 2 follows Federal Agents Aaron Falk and Carmen Cooper who head deep into the Giralang Ranges to investigate the whereabouts of their corporate whistle-blower Alice after she mysteriously disappears on a company hiking retreat. The four women who were recovered from the bush each seem to be hiding something about their traumatic experience. As Falk and Cooper close in on the case, they uncover worrying details about the connections between these women and begin to fear for the safety of their missing informant as a storm threatens to halt the search.

The first film was a decent enough crime drama but did suffer a bit from slow pacing. That being said, we don’t get to see enough Eric Bana these days, so it was a welcome watch. I dig films like this follow up as it is a sequel in only that the same character is back to solve another case so leaves you no need to see the other to dive right into this one even though you should anyway.

This new case is in the same vein of the previous film in related to solving the case, but the pacing is a lot better, and the new locale adds a fresh dynamic. The story bounces back and forth between the agents trying to get to the truth and seeing the events unfold in flashbacks at the same time. It does a good job of keeping the story cohesive as well as on your toes with the twists and turns. Sure,

some are easy to figure out, but it’s the journey that gets us there and does its job well.

Bana is great in the role once again bringing a personal focus that not only leads his own fight to solve the case, but also digs deeper into his own good and bad past. He is focused on the case without getting all caught up in some of the random nonsense around that these types of films often get lost in. I enjoyed this film a lot more than the first but know it is not an action-packed film, but a crime drama that takes you on the journey into revelation of the truth. Not sure if there were more books featuring this character but would love to see Bana back on the case in the future.

Check out Force of Nature: The Dry 2 in theaters and digital rental now from IFC Films and check out The Dry still available on digital, Blu-ray and DVD.

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