Marriage equality is a reality in America, but in Australia it is very much still a hope and dream. This Dean Francis film, adapted from the play Burnt by Stephen Davis, tells the non-linear story of three lifeguards which evolves quickly to a violent and tragic ending. Phil is a gay man who comes out to his hyper-masculine lifeguard friends and becomes the target of homophobic Len Smithy, who bullies him, beats him up, and eventually rapes and tortures him on a beach. Smithy has the forced assistance of their friend Meat (thus nicknamed for his huge penis and played by out actor Harry Cook, one of the film's highlights and an actor overdue for some U.S. recognition).
Matt Levett (Phil) and Jack Matthews (Len) are also compelling actors who look great in speedos, but none of them can escape the jumbled, confusing script. If the story was told linearly, it might have been a dark, suspenseful drama that turns into a nightmarish horror movie, rather than a headache-inducing film whose horrific conclusion intends to impart a lesson about homophobia that ultimately flops.