It's the improbable stories that really get to me. This film is well shot, well edited, well acted, well directed, but I just can't help but wonder why the main characters didn't try to head for civilization. And why Australia? How come this didn't happen in ... I don't know ... Wyoming or Nebraska or some place.
It's a film that's really bothered me over the years because of the improbable premise; a terminally ill man helps a boy survive by showing him how to live in the wilds. Eh, okay, it has a kind of attraction to it, but to me it sounds more reasonable on paper than seeing it on film, because in the end a ten year old kid has to make his way back to civilization to tell them about all he experienced.
I guess my other minor beef here is that "Earthling", to me at least, conjures images of spaceships landing on far away worlds and meeting short green skinned aliens with pointy years. I mean I get it's used here poetically, but with all of the bait and switch in behavioral science that's in films, I just can't help but feel that this is ... a misuse of a science fiction cliche.
Just a guess here, and this is based on all the other films I've seen in the past, and that is this is probably based off of a real incident that didn't end so well. The mind reels as to what actually happened. Was the RV hijacked? Did they all actually die? As the older man an ex-con? Hollywood has a tendency to take bad stories and turn them into good ones, at which point I lost interest in films altogether. So it is that I wonder about the real circumstances of this film, and, stranger yet, wonder if it has any ties to Disney's "The Rescuers Down Under".
Again, I'm sorry, but man worth his salt, terminally ill or no, would have taken that kid back to the main road, and found a ranger or something to help him out. End of story.
Otherwise, yeah, it's a good looking film with lots of interesting shots and so forth.
Make of that what you will.