Follow TV Tropes


Film / Son of a Gun

Go To

Son of a Gun is a 2014 Australian crime thriller film written and directed by Julius Avery. It stars Brenton Thwaites, Ewan McGregor, Alicia Vikander, and Jacek Koman.

Locked up for a minor crime, 19 year old JR quickly learns the harsh realities of prison life. Protection, if you can get it, is paramount. JR soon finds himself under the watchful eye of Australia's most notorious criminal, Brendan Lynch. But protection comes at a price. Lynch and his crew have plans for their young protegee. Upon release, JR must help secure Lynch's freedom, staging a daring prison break. As a reward, he's invited to join the crew as they plan a gold heist that promises to deliver millions. However, as things start to go wrong, a deadly game of cat and mouse ensues. JR finds himself unsure of whom he can trust and on a collision course with his former mentor.


  • Abusive Parents: JR has a permanent scar on his forehead as a result of one his father's beatings. He explains to Natasha that the reason he can't swim is that as a kid he was nervous about swimming, and his father decided the best way for him to learn was to throw him overboard from a boat.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: JR's part in the caper is to crawl through the air vents at the refinery and hide in the vent over the pouring room until it starts operation. He then drops down through the vent to perform crowd control duties.
  • Arc Words: "Never trust a pawn".
  • Arms Dealer: Sam sends JR to Private Wilson to collect the armament for the Great Escape and robbery of the gold refinery. Wilson supplies a large array of highly illegal fully-automatic weapons, plus a rocket launcher.
  • Babies Ever After: JR escapes with Natasha at the end, gold in tow. He leaves a note telling Lynch this, alongside a photo which shows Natasha is heavily pregnant with their baby. Lynch has to smile at this.
  • Badass Driver: Chris the Getaway Driver shows his worth as he slues the unwieldy Toyota Land Cruiser through a series of dangerous stunts while escaping the police at the refinery, including swerving between a pair of giant dump trucks at the open cut mine.
  • Bad Habits: Lynch and JR disguise themselves as priests when flying back from Melbourne to Perth.
  • The Caper: After he helps Lynch break out of prison, JR becomes part of Sam's plan to pull off a heist at the gold refinery in Kalgoorlie.
  • Car Fu: During the handover of the key to where the gold is stored in Melbourne, Wayne drives a pickup into the side of Josh's car, sending it slamming it the Russian mobster's car and taking out both drivers.
  • Chess Motifs: Lynch, JR and Sam all play chess at a high level. They often discuss their crimes in chess metaphors, and a white king is often used as Trust Password. When Sam betrays them, Lynch breaks into Sam's house and leaves the king lying on the chessboard as a warning that he is coming for him. Additionally, the phrase "Never trust a pawn" could almost be considered Arc Words.
  • Don't Make Me Take My Belt Off!: Natasha's pimp beats her with his belt before he attempts to kill her.
  • Driven to Suicide: JR's cellmate kills himself to escape being raped in prison regularly.
  • Driving into a Truck: After losing the police, Chris drives the getaway car into the back of the truck he uses to transport his stock car.
  • Due to the Dead: JR and Lynch are preparing to dispose of Sterlo's body. JR, who is obviously uncomfortable with this, asks if they shouldn't say some words or something. Lynch thinks about this for a few moments, then says "Where you're going, there is no parole". He and JR then set fire to truck and push it off the cliff into a flooded mine.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: When Lynch and Sterlo learn that Merv was inside for raping a schoolgirl and not GBH as he had told them, Lynch bashes him in the face multiple times and dumps him at the side of the road, telling him that he is on his own, and that if he tells anything to the police he has friends on the inside that will get him.
  • Fakin' MacGuffin: On the boat, Lynch opens the suitcases to discover that the gold bars have been swapped out for lead weights.
  • Fiery Cover-Up: Lynch and JR pile everything connected to the robbery (including Sterlo's body) into the getaway vehicle before torching it and shoving into a lake in one of the old mine pits.
  • Forgot I Couldn't Swim: JR is so Distracted by the Sexy when Natasha strips off and goes Skinny Dipping that he strips off and follows her, even though he can't swim.
  • Gasoline Dousing: JR uses a jerrycan to soak the getaway car and its contents including Sterlo's body with petrol, before he and Lynch set it alight and push it off a cliff into a flooded mine pit.
  • Getaway Driver: Chris is recruited by Lynch as the getaway driver for the gold refinery job. When he isn't acting as a getaway driver, he is a speedway racer.
  • Great Escape: In exchange for his protection, Lynch has JR help orchestrate his escape from the maximum security prison. Part of the plan involves JR hijacking a sightseeing helicopter.
  • Gun Nut: Private Wilson is an Arms Dealer supplying weapons to the Perth underworld, but also has a large stock that he refers to as his 'personal collection'. He gets very excited while demonstrating the guns to JR.
  • Hit Me, Dammit!: JR's cellmate is being sexually abused by Dave. When he sees Dave and his gang approaching his cellmate, he tells his cellmate to hit him. His cellmate is confused, but after JR shoves him a couple of times, his cellmate responds by tackling him. This forces the guards to intervene and scares off Dave and his cronies.
  • Hollywood Tourette's: Jerkass Josh claims to suffer from Tourettes, and he does twitch a lot. It's not clear if he really does suffer from the condition, or if he is just using it as an excuse to randomly shot "FAGGOT!" at people.
  • Hookers and Blow: The party thrown by Sam to celebrate Lynch and Sterlo's escape from prison is literally full of hookers and blow. JR gets very uncomfortable and ends up joining Natasha for a trip to town for Chinese dumplings.
  • Longer-Than-Life Sentence: After escaping from prison, Sterlo boasts that he was serving three life sentences, but here he is free as a bird.
  • The Mafiya: The underworld fixer Sam has connections to the Russian Mob that he uses to fence the stolen gold. Lynch and JR hit the handover to steal the gold back.
  • Making Love in All the Wrong Places: JR and Natasha have sex on the train travelling from Perth to Melbourne.
  • No Honor Among Thieves: Sam tries to screw the gang over and keep the gold for himself. When Lynch confronts him, he even uses the exact phrase, saying that he did not expect honor among thieves, but he's disappointed that there is not even a little remorse on Sam's face.
  • Obfuscating Disability: JR pretends to be confined to a wheelchair while travelling from Melbourne to Perth.
  • Once More, with Clarity: After Lynch discovers the gold bars have been swapped for lead weights, a series of quick flashbacks show how Jr and Natasha pulled this off.
  • Prison Rape: Dave is initially sexually abusing JR's cellmate. After the cellmate attempts suicide and winds up in the hospital, Dave switches his attention to JR. Dave and his gang drag JR into a bathroom and are about to rape him when Lynch, Sterlo and Merv show up and haul them off.
  • Scars Are Forever: JR has a jagged scar on his forehead that he received from his abusive father when he was child. Natasha jokingly refers to it as something to remember him by.
  • Sinister Shiv: JR wakes up one night and discovers his cellmate sharpening a toothbrush into a shiv. After his cellmate attempts to commit suicide, JR starts carrying the shiv, looking to get some payback on Dave. Sterlo uses a shiv to take one of the guards hostage during the Great Escape.
  • Skinny Dipping: When Natasha meets JR on the the beach at night, she pulls off her dress and plunges into the surf. JR is so tempted that he strips off and follows her, even though he can't swim, and they have a Two-Person Pool Party.
  • Smart People Play Chess: The first indication that Lynch is more than just a hard man bank robber is that he plays chess, and is engaged in an ongoing play-by-mail game with Sam. JR first catches Lynch's attention by pointing out that he is about to make a bad move, telling him it will result in checkmate in three moves. Lynch then asks him to demonstrate, which JR does. This starts the bonding between them. Much of their later discussions about the crimes use chess metaphors.
  • Two-Person Pool Party: At the beach, Natasha goes Skinny Dipping and JR follows her in, even though he can't swim. They indulge in some very heavy petting.