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Thomas Cockerel as young Errol Flynn

“IN LIKE FLYNN”  My rating: C

106 minutes | MPAA rating: R

Before he became a Hollywood movie star, Australian-born Errol Flynn lived a life of adventure cruising through the Indonesian archipelago.

Drinking. Whoring. Brawling. Looking for gold in dangerous places.

Russell Mulcahy’s “In Like Flynn,” based on the actor’s memoir Beam Ends, attempts to capture the pre-movie star Flynn as he and a trio of buddies go sailing for wine, wenches and wealth.

It’s not as much fun as it sounds.

Things start out promisingly with an encounter with headhunters in New Guinea.  Young Flynn (Thomas Cockerel) and a Hollywood crew shooting location footage are forced to flee for their lives. Think the opening of “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”

Once back in Australia, Flynn decides to return to New Guinea to search for gold. He steals a yacht, the Sirocco, and mans it with two drinking buddies — the gruff Rex (Callan Mulvey) and the babyfaced Duke (William Moseley) — and a suicidal old salt (Clive Standen, channelling Robert Shaw in “Jaws”) who provides most of the sailing knowhow.

Along the way they visit dockside dives and brothels and opium dens, run afoul of the Chinese mafia and the crooked mayor (David Wenham) of a sleazy stopover, brave sharks and seasickness and poisonous spiders and starvation and shipwrecks and get involved in an underground fight club. (more…)

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