Force of Nature: The Dry 2 (2024) Movie Review – Less stormy weather and more of a light breeze

Less stormy weather and more of a light breeze


Force of Nature, based on the second book of novelist Jane Harper’s crime series, is the follow-up to The Dry, a fairly enjoyable mystery thriller from 2020 starring Eric Bana as federal investigator Aaron Falk. 

This new movie isn’t quite a sequel to its predecessor as it tells a standalone story. The only common factor is Aaron, who is involved in another investigation when a woman named Alice Russell (Anna Torv) goes missing while on a company retreat. 

It turns out that Aaron knows Alice, as she was helping him with a case involving money laundering at her firm. It’s possible that her boss, Daniel Bailey (Richard Roxburgh), has something to do with her disappearance, but there is a lineup of other suspects too.

Aaron’s investigation becomes slightly muddled as he’s plagued by a memory from the past. Years before, when he was just a child, his mother went missing at the same spot as Alice. Could there be a connection? And could the case of both women be linked to a serial killer named Martin Kovak, who lived in the local area?

The case is certainly an intriguing one but you might be disappointed by the resolution. We aren’t going to reveal the reason for Alice’s disappearance here but the final reveal isn’t all that interesting. You might still have fun trying to piece the puzzle of Aarons’ investigation together but don’t be surprised if you feel a little cheated when the truth is finally revealed. 

As the story progresses, we are treated to some fine performances from the central cast. Bana is particularly good as Aaron, an emotionally complicated character who is calm and level-headed on the surface but who is secretly troubled by the memories of his past. We see this pain on Bana’s face as Aaron resolutely ploughs his way through the investigation

Anna Torv’s performance as Alice is worthy of mention too. Her character appears to be cold and cruel, with little regard for the feelings of others, but she actually has hidden depth which we see in Torv’s sensitive portrayal.

The film also stars Richard Roxburgh as Daniel Bailey, the head of the firm that Falk is investigating. Roxburgh doesn’t have a lot to do in the film but whenever he shows up, he is suitably slimy as the arrogant employer that Alice is informing on.

The rest of the accomplished cast includes Deborah-Lee Furness as Jill, the wife of Daniel, and the leader of the fated retreat that Alice goes on. Jill is another suspect in Alice’s disappearance due to her fiery temperament but as is the case with the other folk in the film, there is more to her than meets the eye.

Unfortunately, The Dry 2 isn’t quite as compelling as its predecessor due to an abundance of subplots and a tangled central mystery that turns out to be less interesting than it initially appeared. Even the title of the film is misleading. In 2020’s The Dry, Falk’s investigation took him to his drought-stricken hometown of Kiewarra, so the film’s title made sense. But the setting of The Dry 2 is a lush forest landscape where it perpetually rains. A better title may have been The Wet instead!

These criticisms aside, the film isn’t a bad one. The characters are engaging, the locations are enticing, and the flashbacks into Falk’s past neatly tie into the present. It’s just a shame that the whole enterprise comes across like an average episode of a TV crime procedural, with occasionally flat direction and a resolution that is wrapped up too easily. 

There’s a third Book in the Aaron Falk series so we expect The Dry 2 will get a follow-up. We aren’t against the idea but if The Dry 3 does come along, we hope it has a more involving story than its predecessor and an ending that provokes gasps of awe and not disappointed sighs. 


Read More: Force of Nature: The Dry 2 Ending Explained

Feel free to check out more of our movie reviews here!

  • Verdict - 6.5/10