Sione's 2 chases cheap laughs

16:00, Jan 20 2012
Sione's 2
Not funny: Sione's 2: Unfinished Business misses the mark. From left, Shimpal Lelisi, Oscar Kightley and Robbie Magasvia.

Sione's 2: Unfinished Business (M) (92 min)

Directed by Simon Bennett

Starring Oscar Kightley, Robbie Magasiva, Shimpal Lelisi, Iaheto Ah Hi.

Six years ago, Sione's Wedding was a deservedly popular film. It had wit, a couple of genuinely funny and inventive moments, and a ripper soundtrack. The leads were all energetic and/or attractive, the writing was unashamedly contrived, and the film wore its massive heart on its sleeve with real conviction. It sure wasn't perfect, but we loved it. And quite right too.

Fast forward to 2012. The boys are still being the boys, but the joke just isn't funny anymore. Brought together by a tragedy, the duck-rockers are again tasked with an odd quest before a public event. In 2006, they all had to find 'proper' girlfriends to bring to Sione's nuptials. This time, they have to track down Paul/Bolo (Dave Fane) in time for a funeral. Cue another mad dash around a few square miles of rain-sodden Grey Lynn, with a couple of drinks in between.

But, nah. What was fun and subversive has become mean spirited, tasteless, and reactive. Sione's Wedding had a good time turning the stereotypes upside down. This film is happy to chase a few cheap laughs with portrayals of child-like Polynesian men, always on the verge of alcohol fuelled violence, acting out a story without a plot, a soul, or any particular reason to exist.

It's not often a film succeeds in insulting its own cast. Sione's 2 does just that.


The Dominion Post