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Dry 2 features Force of Nature

Successful enough to rank as one of Australia’s biggest ever box office hits, The Dry from 2020 continues with its sequel Force of Nature, opening in U.S. theaters this May. Part of a mystery series by Jane Harper, Force of Nature returns its lead detective to the wilds of Australia where he experienced childhood trauma. This time Aaron Falk—played by Eric Bana—heads to the Giralang Range of Victoria searching for a missing woman in a region where his own mother suffered decades before. Director Robert Connolly once again nimbly switches between past and present. He showcases the titular force of nature in a wildly rugged and gorgeous rainforest that needs no people to cause life threatening situations. As in the series’ first entry, landscape overshadows people. Director Connolly pulls together a more than capable cast including Anna Torv and Deborra-Lee Furness in supporting roles. Bana, internationally recognizable from Munich, Troy, and as an early version of The Hulk, plays Falk as a stalwart, dedicated investigator who lacks the quirks that so many of his fictional kind display. Admirable for his commitment to finding justice, his steady path towards success lessens some elements of suspense.  Measuring his steps with a Fitbit’s precision, he inspires confidence without risk. Similarly, Force of Nature’s mystery asks questions that deserve answers, none lead to shocking twists. Detective Falk offers a conclusion that “nature holds us all to account,” and while some may argue that point, the movie shows that wildly impressive landscapes provide their own compelling reasons to get caught up in a story.

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