Big things are happening on TV Tropes! New admins, new designs, fewer ads, mobile versions, beta testing opportunities, thematic discovery engine, fun trope tools and toys, and much more - Learn how to help here and discuss here.
An Australian film starring Eric Bana as the infamous Real Life Melbourne criminal Mark 'Chopper' Read.The film portrays a portion of Read's storied life, beginning and ending in prison. The film begins with the incidents leading up to his famous self-mutilation, in which he had his ears chopped off in order to escape retaliation from a rival. Read is shown to be a violent and unbalanced man with a forceful and often gregarious personality. After serving his term, Read proves unfit for the outside world soon lands back in prison, where he can take only fleeting comfort in the tabloid fame that his antics and charm have brought him.The film was a success in Australia and received some global recognition as well. The film launched Bana into mainstream success as a movie star after a career primarily limited to the Australian comedy scene.This film provides examples of:
Advice Backfire: In the beginning of the film while locked up on Pentridge prison, Chopper jokingly tells his rival Keithy George that he could kill him and present his psych evaluation to the court and no jury in the land would convict him for it. Shortly afterwards, Chopper's best friend Jimmy tries to stab Chopper to death and fails, but doesn't get convicted for it.
Affably Evil: Chopper is a two-bit thug, but he's incredibly charming when he's not killing you, and sometimes even when he is. He makes it clear that the average person on the street has nothing to fear from him, but watch out if you're a fellow criminal, especially one who deals drugs. Then he's coming after you and you'll be lucky if he leaves with just a big wad of cash that you have generously donated to him. This is Truth in Television, as Chopper became a mainstream celebrity in Australia by telling stories from his sordid life.
Chopper: Look. The bloke's been me best mate since 1975. We've had our fallouts from time to time, it's no big deal. Y'know, it's like...if your mum stabs ya, whaddya do? Ya don't get upset. Ya don't get angry, ya go, "Shit, mum's stabbed me, I better get off to the hospital."
Damn, It Feels Good to Be a Gangster : Chopper loves what he does and the media attention that goes with it, especially while he still gets away with the vast majority of his nefarious activities. By the end of the film we do see however that it has left him with a quite lonely and empty life.
Deadpan Snarker: Chopper is a violent, semi-literate sociopath but he's also got most of the best lines in the film.
Chopper: Why whould I shoot a bloke — BANG — and then put him in the bloody car and whiz him off to the hospital at a hundred miles an hour? It defeats the purpose of having shot him in the first place.
Even Evil Has Standards: Chopper won't kill Jummy Loughnan in front of his own children, despite knowing Jimmy has taken a contract out on Chopper's head.
Fan of Underdog: While in prison, Chopper goes out of his way to help and support the weaker prisoners who have no chance of surviving on their own.
Foe Cooties: Chopper gets it into his head that Tanya has been having sex with his enemy Neville Bartos
Hair-Trigger Temper: Chopper is unbalanced and a danger to everyone around him, even people he's being friendly towards. Mostly because the people in his social circle are all petty criminals and lowlifes and he is paranoid that they're all trying to kill him.
Implausible Deniability: As Keith George lies bleeding to death on the floor of the prison common room, Chopper tells the guards that Keith must have accidentally shivved himself multiple times in the neck.
Refuge in Audacity: Chopper shoots a man in a parking lot and immediately goes to the police and admits to the crime, even showing them the murder weapon. They don't buy it because they think Chopper is doing his normal bullshit artist routine.
Vomit Indiscretion Shot: When Chopper takes off his shirt and vest after being stabbed, Bluey has one of these. Word of God says that the actor, Dan Wyllie, was such a professional that he threw up, for real, on cue.