“Ivan Sen is someone I’ve worked with before, and I absolutely love him. I think he’s a great filmmaker. Mystery Road, the film which came before the TV series of the same name that he directed, was great. I’ve been watching his work for a number of years.”
— Hugo Weaving, in the 2020 pages of Collider, about his reasons for starring in Loveland
Ryan Kwanten (Jason Stackhouse in HBO’s True Blood; Dead Silence) and Hugo Weaving (Red Skull in Captain America: The First Avenger, The Lord of the Rings, Agent Smith in The Matrix franchise) star in this sci-fi romantic-thriller set in a near-future Asian megacity. Jack (Kwanten) is a mercenary-for-hire and sometimes assassin living a lonely existence his with robotic lovers in between sanctions. Upon discovering true, human love with April, a Karaoke geisha (a new to international audiences Jillian Nguyen, in her leading-lady debut), that love is quickly lost as Jack discovers he’s infected with a mysterious illness by his employers that causes his body to deteriorate — and he’s being pursued by robotic operatives. His only ally — or is he — is Dr. Bergman (Weaving) with the answers to the origins of his illness . . . and other mysteries.
This beautifully shot, international film set in Hong Kong and Macau, China, as well as Queensland and Brisbane, Australia, which comes from the mind of writer and director Ivan Sen, drips with film noir atmosphere. The film plays as a sci-if version of D.O.A., the 1950, classic American film noir directed by Rudolph Maté and starring Edmond O’Brien, while run through a Jean-Luc Godard neo-noir Alphaville filter — more so than the usual “Blade Runner” comparisons that many streamers will namedrop in their subsequent IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes reviews.
A veteran of three dramatic shorts, Ivan Sen released his feature film debut, Beneath the Clouds (2002), as well as the features Dreamland (2009), Toomelah (2011), Mystery Road (2013), and Goldstone (2016). Loveland is his sixth feature — and first internationally-distributed film. Mystery Road, also starring Hugo Weaving, was nominated for and won several awards for the Australian Film Critics Association Awards, Film Critics Circle of Australia Awards, and Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards. During the film’s overseas run, it received accolades from Cannes, as well as the Toronto and Berlin International Film Festivals.
If you’d like to learn more about Hugo Weaving’s involvement and his decision to work on Loveland — as well as his other works — you can join him with Christian Radish of Collider for a September 2020 review.
Loveland — scheduled for release across Australia in October 2021 — will be released in the U.S. and North America by TriCoast Worldwide Releasing in the coming months. A trailer was officially released to the press in August 2021 by the Australian shingle, Dark Matter Distribution. As of November, you can now follow the film’s latest developments on its official Facebook page.
This film has since been retitled as Expired for its 2022 distribution — as issued by Lionsgate Entertainment — which has released a new, updated trailer in January.
Other films under the TriCoast shingle we’ve reviewed include:
Agatha Christine: Spy Next Door
Blood Hunters: Rise of the Hybrids
Bombshells and Dollies
It All Begins with a Song
Legend of the Muse
Lone Star Deception
My Hindu Friend
The Soul Collector
Sweet Taste of Souls
Disclaimer: We discovered this film on social media, were intrigued, and sought out the film. That has no bearing on our review. This review was updated and reposted on November 17, 2021, as the film officially rolled out, worldwide.