Film review: Two Little Boys

BROMANCE: Bret McKenzie and Hamish Blake in Two Little Boys.
BROMANCE: Bret McKenzie and Hamish Blake in Two Little Boys.

Two Little Boys, R16, 101 mins 

Bad clothes, even worse hair and Suzie Clarkson's The New Zealand Fit Kit populate an early 1990s' Invercargill.

The cringe-worthy comedy is amplified by Nige (Bret McKenzie) and Deano (Hamish Blake) - two bogans whose friendship is hanging by a thread that's thinner than the stringy cheese dangling from their beloved toasted sandwiches.

This black comedy, from Robert and Duncan Sarkies (Scarfies) examines the disintegrating friendship between the childhood friends and the disastrous fallout from one careless moment.

Right at the start, hapless Nige's life changes after a series of unfortunate events. Driving around Invercargill in the middle of the night, he scalds himself on a burning hot meat pie and swerves to avoid a ginger cat before finally running over a Norwegian backpacker. Panicking, he speeds to Deano's house for advice and after some persuasion (Deano hasn't forgiven Nige for making friends with newcomer Gav played by Maaka Pohatu), Deano helps Nige come up with a road-tripping plan to dispose of the body.

The sight of two dim-witted bogans driving around in a bomb is juxtaposed with the beauty of the Catlins, and the locations in the film provide a lot of realism.

Much of the comedy comes from the physical performances of the cast.

McKenzie and Blake (from Flight of the Conchords and Hamish and Andy, respectively) work well on screen as the once tight-knit pair who now resemble two people trapped in a marriage and we are constantly swept up in the nonsensical whirlwind of their dramas.

Pohatu is endearing as charming, deceptively intuitive Gav, and his performance solidifies Gav's presence as more than just a third wheel on this rickety bogan triad.

Two Little Boys is an adaptation of Duncan Sarkies' 2008 novel of the same name.

Director Robert has worked together with his brother to craft the screenplay into a more film-friendly story but the lively narrative and brazen comedy remains (watch out for some squirmish violence concerning the deceased backpacker).

The highs outweigh the lulls and it's a treat seeing a few cameo appearances from the likes of Ian Mune and Russell Smith (Shark in the Park, Play School) adding to the comedy capers.

Sunday Star Times