In Like Flynn is all about swashbuckling Errol Flynn in the days before he became a star, when he was traveling around the South Seas looking for adventure and getting in trouble. The film is loosely based on Flynn’s autobiography “Beam Ends,” and the movie was co-written by Luke Flynn, Errol’s grandson. But who knows how much of it is true? It opens with the proviso, “A Mostly True Account of the Hollywood Star’s Early Adventures.” And in the end, it doesn’t really matter. It’s a romp, and a light weight one, at that.
We meet 20-something Errol Flynn as he’s running through the Papua New Guinea jungle while being filmed by a Hollywood producer looking for an action star. He then barely escapes a tribe of murderous natives, only to turn down the producer’s offer of stardom in order to continue his travels around Australia looking for adventure and a good time. The main story has him team up with a couple of old friends to steal a boat from a Chinese pirate and head back to New Guinea to hunt for gold. They’re joined by the man whose boat they stole from the pirate. And the film is as much about these four men and their relationships as the derring-do that follows them wherever they go. But swashbuckling is in Flynn’s blood and he saves the day again and again, until he finally succumbs to the lure of Hollywood, and the rest is history.
In Like Flynn tips its hat to classic actions films from Jaws to Indiana Jones while moving the adventure along to its inevitable conclusion. It’s a fun ride, though not particularly original. It would probably be a good one to wait for and watch it on the big home screen with some mates and beers.