Francesca Rudkin

Francesca Rudkin is an entertainment reviewer for NZ Herald.

Movie review: A Few Best Men

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Tim Draxl, Kevin Bishop and Kris Marshall manage to infuriate in A Few Best Men. Photo / Supplied
Tim Draxl, Kevin Bishop and Kris Marshall manage to infuriate in A Few Best Men. Photo / Supplied

A low brow version of The Hangover and Bridesmaids, this crude comedy is filled with one-dimensional characters, a pretty lame set-up and humour that is only occasionally ridiculous enough to make you laugh rather than cower.

A Few Best Men is a similar idea to writer Dean Craig's previous Death at a Funeral, but this time the craziness and outrageous antics take place at a wedding. The set-up is brief and far from convincing as a couple of backpackers, Brit David (Samuel) and Aussie Mia (Laura Brent), decide to get married after spending 10 days together on a deserted Pacific Island.

Arriving in Australia the day before the wedding, David is freaked out to discover he's marrying into the Australian version of the Kennedy family. It should be a good thing he has his three childhood mates there to support him. Unfortunately, it's anything but. An infuriating bunch of selfish, self-destructive, rude and clumsy fools, the three quickly turn the society wedding into a non-stop farce. There are gay jokes, cheap shots at Australia's penal colony past, a drug deal gone wrong and a sheep in drag that requires resuscitation, and while plenty of it goes way beyond tasteful, director Stephan Elliot (The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert) manages to generate a laugh or two - or perhaps he just wears you down so it feels like you've got no choice but to laugh.

Samuel and Brent don't really get a chance to shine, as most of the action involves best men Tom (Kris Marshall) and Graham (Kevin Bishop). These two feed off each other and keep the chaos coming but they're as infuriating as they are engaging and, after 97 minutes, it's a relief to see the end of them.

The not-so-happy day does have its bright spots. Comedian Rebel Wilson (Bridesmaids) plays Mia's lesbian sister Daphne and has only to stand in shot to make you smile. Olivia Newton-John has a blast as the bride's mother, Barbara. It's an over-the-top performance, yet she proves she's a good sort, stealing the show with her chandelier swinging and cocaine snorting antics. At least someone had fun.

Stars: 2/5
Cast: Rebel Wilson, Xavier Samuel, Olivia Newton-John
Director: Stephan Elliott
Running time: 97 mins
Rating: R16 (Violence, offensive language & drug use)
Verdict: Lots of vulgar silliness, not enough laughs.

Check out the trailer for A Few Best Men:

-TimeOut

- NZ Herald

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