Benjamin “Boy” Brush is a contender for the Australian Olympic swimming team – if he can keep his head above the water dealing with a difficult family life: abusive father, poorly-adjusted mother, and brothers who are, for lack of a nicer way of putting it, a bunch of wasters.
Streamline is billed as a “swimming movie par excellence” and, as far as swimming movies go, that’s probably a fair description. One may be reminded of Happy Gilmore‘s billing as “the best golfing comedy since Caddyshack”, which only really put it above Caddyshack II: save for Swimfan and The Big Blue, is “swimming movie” really that big a genre? In any case, the swimming here only takes up a tiny fraction of the brief runtime, the lion’s share of which deals with Boy’s attempts to, as Edward St. Aubyn put it, stop the poison from dripping down the generations.
Still, the “par excellence” part doesn’t ring hollow. Levi Miller adequately sells the troubled Boy, but the standout performances come from Jake Ryan as older, macho brother Dave, and of course Jason Isaacs, who only makes a handful of brief appearances as the troubled father who seeks, but never quite finds, redemption – the latest in a recent string of small yet outstanding parts for the actor.