From Empire Magazine (UK) - October 2003
Reviewer Colin Kennedy calls the story "truncated" and an example of [director] Jordon's "lesser work". Yet he says it "...still shot through with enough lyrical touches..."
The only mention of Orlando Bloom was - "...he's [Jordan] aided by the likeable leads - Ledger and Bloom - who overcome dodgy beards and wobbly accents to put in spirited performances."
The verdict? "A wannabe Western epic that never quite fills the widescreen, but is quite lovely around the fringes." Given *** out of ***** making it "Satisfying - A solid example of the genre"
Hmmm...seems unduly harsh! Perhaps in Laman's (spelled right?) terms, it means the plot only scratches the surface of the story and lacks depth and character development. But what average audience member would know that? I don't know jack about Ned Kelly. So for those who've seen it, do you agree or disagree? What about Bloom's performance? Wobbly accent? Spirited? I love discussing movies!!
**UPDATE** I found some more reviews!
From - http://www.bbc.co.uk
"There are grating, didactic moments ("I won't take this injustice!"), while Geoffrey Rush's superintendent is a role so underwritten it might qualify as a cameo. But star power pulls you through. Bloom, in particular, is brilliant, proving much more than a pretty face as Ned's right-hand man. A rousing, watchable western then, if hardly to die for."
This review also calls it "goodie-goodie" and criticizes the romantic subplot, saying it "waylays the action." But overall, gave it praise.
From - http://www.moviehole.net
Reviewer Clint Morris gave Ned Kelly 3 1/2 stars out of 5. No mention of Orlando Bloom.
From - http://www.viewlondon.co.uk
"Watchable drama, featuring strong support from Bloom and Watts but let down by Ledger’s lack of charisma in the lead role."
Reviewer Matthew Turner calls it "watchable, but disappointing" - given ** out of *****. His review in general was very bad. Ouch!
From - http://www.espudd.com
No reviewer name given
"...there are some standout performers in the supporting cast. Orlando Bloom as Joe Byrne...Bloom, in particular, makes a stunning leap from his recent role as Lord of the Ring's elvan archer, Legolas Greenleaf, to embody the devil-may-care womanizer that was Joe Byrne."
Given ***** out of *****
So, we have a little bit of everything here. I didn't post all of them, but the ones I read that were highly critical always praised the supporting cast, including Bloom. Guess I'll have to see for myself in March...I think? I still don't know when or if this movie is even coming to the States!