There are times in The Young Offenders when you will wish you had taken an Irish mate with you. For in the pub afterwards, the translations of the jokes you missed due to the movie's thick Cork accents will be hilarious.

As it is, the intelligible gag hit rate is pretty high.

And the movie has a mad larrakin energy care of the partnership of Alex Murphy and Chris Whalley as teenage idiot mates Conor and Jock, who plan to steal a bale of coke from a drug smuggling shipwreck off the South Cork coast (based on a real incident in 2007).

Yes, it's a movie of craic cocaine starring O'Dumb and O'Dumber which can end up on some pretty silly places at times.

Advertisement
The Young Offenders sees two boys on the run from the polce with an unexpected load of cocaine. Photo/Supplied
The Young Offenders sees two boys on the run from the polce with an unexpected load of cocaine. Photo/Supplied

But it's got a heart, particularly in the scenes between the boys and their respective single parents, and it's got an amusingly recognisable portrayal of adolescent male friendship and the entertaining, embarrassing stupidity that can result from it.

And the latter stages, after the boys reach the coast, take on an almost Coen Brothers sense of the blackly comedic ridiculous, especially when the film acquires its own desperate villain.

While director-writer Peter Foott throws in references to plenty of other films too - there's a Trainspotting chase done on mountainbikes (cool!); There's an attempt to replicate the café scene from Heat; a scene involving a chicken seems to pay homage to Withnail and I.

An alternative title to this whole caper could have been "The Bicycles Thieves". The pair pinch some bikes to ride the 160km to the coast (through some lovely scenery) and back while pursued by a member of the Garda who is trying to stop Cork's bike crime wave singlehandedly.

For the most part, it is delivered pretty broad and story-wise you can feel it stretching to fill a cinema running time.

But its mix of slapstick and absurdist touches can suggest a Mrs Brown's Boys special as directed by Taika Waititi. That might sound an unlikely mix but Murphy and Whalley's charming dimwits make The Young Offenders an arresting caper that will have you giggling over that pint.


Verdict: Teenage kicks in Cork coke caper


Cast: Alex Murphy, Chris Walley, Hilary Rose, Dominic MacHale
Director: Peter Foott
Running Time: 84 mins
Rating: M (Violence, offensive language & sex scenes)