‘Weapons away!’: Russell Crowe is ‘eyes in the sky’ for Hemsworth brothers in action thriller Land of Bad

From his big break playing a skinhead in Romper Stomper, to playing a boxer, gladiator, mathematician and a priest, Oscar winner Russell Crowe finally gets his chance to play a US military drone pilot.

Joining forces with two of the famous three Hemsworth brothers – Luke and Liam – Crowe, 59, plays USAF drone pilot Captain Eddie Grim “Reaper” in Land of Bad, an action thriller filmed entirely on location on Queensland’s Gold Coast in 2022.

Speaking at the film’s red carpet premiere before the city’s four-day Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) festival, oldest brother Luke, 43, revealed this was the first time he had worked with his 34-year-old brother on a feature film.

“He’s a beautiful human. He does such a great job in this film. He brought everything, his heart, his soul, all of his acting prowess. It’s always wonderful to see your lead actor take control of the set, also be super nurturing to everyone,” he tells reporters.

“He became a commander.

“We’ve done a lot of pretend warfare at home, wrestling, having airguns … but this the first time [we’ve worked together] … and it was a chance to see him operate as a professional, as an accomplished actor. It never ceases to amaze me how good he is.

“There’s a lot of pride seeing the young fella fill the shoes.”

Crowe says the film is “about a new level of modern warfare”.

Set in the southern Philippines, a covert Special Forces operation doesn’t go to plan when the elite extraction team is ambushed.

Back in the US somewhere, Crowe, [aka Reaper],  provides air support from a General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper to the US Army Delta Force team and has 48 hours to remedy what has turned into a wild rescue operation.

The Tier-One team, led by Captain Sugar (Milo Ventimiglia) and Sergeant Abel (Luke), is redeployed to retrieve the captured man and the asset.

Joined by Kinney (Liam), a green Air Force JTAC officer, they are thrust into the middle of a high-stakes extraction. But the ground mission suddenly turns upside down and becomes a full-scale battle when the team is discovered by the enemy.

Crowe is a master of saying: ‘Weapons away’ in Land of Bad. Photo:

With no weapons and no communication other than the drone, Reaper becomes the young operator’s only ticket out of trouble.

Crowe builds a remote rapport with Kinney, and together they are determined “to leave no man behind”.

Crowe is the “friendly voice, eyes in the sky and proof of life, our hero’s only connection to freedom and safety,” writes military news website

“What could potentially be the coolest part of Land of Bad is the idea that we finally have a movie where the US Air Force is both the badass special operator and the rescuer from on high.

” …not just a nerd sitting in front of a computer somewhere,” writes Blake Stilwell, a former US Air Force combat photographer.

The film was entirely shot on the Gold Coast, but co-writer and creatives went to the Fort Irwin National Training Centre – an official base for the US military in the Mojave Desert in California – to upskill.

“[The film] was born out of the need to do something very action based, full of excitement, and very seat of your pants,” director William Eubank (Underwater, The Signal) said.

“We watched real bombs being dropped … their air force was very kind to let us peer over the shoulder and into the world of what a JTAC is and what drone operators actually do.

“We got taught how to clear buildings, work as a team, be as efficient as possible with communication,” adds Liam, who trained close quarters with his brothers in arms.

Land of Bad premieres nationally in cinemas on Friday, February 16

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