Saturday, October 17, 2009

Stone Bros.

(Richard Frankland, 2009)
This movie is as easy to like as it is difficult to enjoy. In essence, Frankland sets out to make an Aboriginal ocker comedy, with rampant vulgarity and low humour played off of race and identity issues of some depth. Only they aren't really played off so much as alternated, and they undermine each other. It's too scattershot; the attempts at addressing serious themes keep getting lost in the digressions, and the comic momentum gets killed by the reflective stuff. And neither element holds up in and of itself, either. The race issues are not well integrated into the thin fabric of the characters; and for every gag that hits bulls-eye, there are three that hit the dirt, running aground on miscalculated timing or emphasis, bad choices in framing, or overextension. Finally they throw up their hands and climax with an outrageous, Pythonesque possessed-dog bit, funny in itself - for a while - but not exactly rife with thematic relevance! The Italian hitch-hiker and cross-dressing cousin in the back seat could easily have been removed from the movie entirely, allowing us more time to get to know the quite likable leads.

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