1% lacks originality but is a solid debut from Stephen McCallum
In the Australian crime drama, 1%, the leader of a biker gang named Knuck returns home after a 3-year incarceration and attempts to re-establish his dominance over the group he once ran. He differs quite drastically in leadership style from Paddo (still ruthless, just a bit friendlier), who grew and modernized the group while Knuck was away. Bringing Knuck back into the fold, despite Paddo’s best efforts, quickly proves more challenging, and dangerous, than expected.
As tension grows between Paddo (Ryan Corr) and Knuck (Matt Nable, who also penned the script), and an amicable co-existence within the club becomes increasingly unlikely, their power struggle over the club’s future exposes some fractures in the group’s identity. The situation worsens when Paddo’s younger brother, Skink, betrays the trust of Knuck and other members, forcing Paddo to choose between his actual family and his club brothers. Tensions lead to violent confrontation throughout the film, and come to a head in the film’s final, harrowing act
1% is a bit heavy on the overt Shakespearean themes that frequent male-dominated gang films, but the world first-time feature director Stephen McCallum creates is vivid and the characters are layered enough to make the themes, however well-worn, carry weight. While the film lacks originality, a taut script and excellent performances make this self-contained story of power, brotherhood, and betrayal and successful debut for Stephen McCallum.