Movie review – Bodily functions and bad jokes

2012-06-23 09:58

Film: Mad Buddies (Ster-Kinekor)
Director: Gray Hofmeyr
Featuring: Leon Schuster, Kenneth Nkosi, Alfred Ntombela and Tanit Phoenix
Rating: 4/10

There is something so desperately depressing about watching a Leon Schuster film.

Bodily function jokes (I stopped counting at 10), homophobic cracks, sexist undertones and racial stereotyping galore – yet South Africans of every hue will flock to see it.

Why, oh why?

By the time this latest one had poeped out its last attempt to make me laugh, I had almost entirely lost the will to live.

When I see it top the box office next week – which no doubt it will – at the expense of other more meaningful entertainments, the process of making me suicidal will be complete.

Here’s the skeleton of the story on which the makers drape their off-colour humour: Boetie (Schuster) and Beast (Kenneth Nkosi) are mortal enemies after a ridiculous tussle in the bush that results in one being chased into a hole by a hungry lion and the other feeding his toe to a hyena (I won’t tell you which to maintain the mystery).

After the pair brawl at a government minister’s family wedding, a TV producer (Tanit Phoenix) sees their animosity as fodder for a new reality show – Mad Buddies.

The two of them are told they must walk from KwaZulu-Natal to Joburg and make sure they are friends when they arrive – this therapy is an alternative to jail.

So begins a tediously long walk for both the cast and audience, peppered with incomprehensible nonsense.

Like cutting to Alfred Ntombela’s character to watch him drop a statue on his foot/break wind in bed/get hit in the face by a door.

Sure, he’s a politician so ergo a buffoon, but still surely we don’t have to have an update on his tomfoolery every 90 seconds?

Perhaps after all this time Schuster has run out of gags – he rehashes a few, such as the one with the snake in the taxi from a few candid cameras back.

Here it gets used not once, but four times; it is barely funny the first time.

The production values, as always, are high.

This is no tin-pot flick made on a budget, but the puerile antics of the grown-ups and Phoenix acting about as convincingly as a mahogany table in a pine forest, coupled with the knowledge that Disney will be distributing this splice of South African lowbrow culture to the world, had me reaching for the wrist-slashing razor.

I went in expecting the worst and Mad Buddies lived down to my expectations.

And I still don’t know why it’s funny to go to the toilet.

» Follow me on Twitter @GayleMahala 

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