Two Little Boys - trailer
Two Little Boys follows Nige and Deano's riotous misadventures as they struggle with their imploding long-term friendship which has been put under pressure by an unfortunate incident involving a hot meat pie, a ginger cat and the untimely death of a Scandinavian soccer star.PT2M26S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-294km 620 349 November 10, 2012
TWO LITTLE BOYS
Directed by Robert Sarkies
Written by Duncan Sarkies and Robert Sarkies
Rated MA. 108 minutes
Event George Street, Hoyts Entertainment Quarter and Broadway, selected suburbs
Reviewer's rating: 3.5/5 stars
THE "bromance" hits a new low. This was my thinking during the first few scenes of the New Zealand comedy Two Little Boys.
I was watching comics Hamish Blake and the Flight of the Conchords' Bret McKenzie bumbling around in an effort to dispose of the body of a young Norwegian backpacker. McKenzie's Nige had run him down accidentally during a bit of aimless late-night driving. And for want of a better solution - such as calling the police - he'd enlisted the aid of his best mate, Deano (Blake), who was setting about the assignment with chilling enthusiasm and a nonchalant disregard for the damage he was inflicting on the corpse.
Then I got the point of it all. This was not a bromance but an antidote to the genre - an "anti-buddy movie", as Blake calls it. It's about the mayhem that comes about when you're undiscriminating enough to choose a psychopath for your best friend. In these circumstances, the Rolf Harris song which provides the film's title suddenly takes on ironies it never knew it had.
Nige and Deano have been friends since meeting at school as 10-year-olds. Nige was the new boy. He also arrived wearing a neck brace looking as if it had been expressly designed to encourage jeering classmates. But Deano stuck up for him and he's been doing it ever since. He loves Nige with more tenderness than he could ever summon up for a sexual partner. He cooks for him, jollies him along and has shared a house with him.
But Nige has made an uncharacteristically independent decision. Realising there has to be more to life than growing old as half of Invercargill's oddest couple, he's moved out. And he's found a new friend. Gav (Maaka Pohatu) has a disposition as generous as his figure, which bears a strong resemblance to a soccer ball. He's also a philosophical nature lover with an unshakeable air of serenity and Nige finds great comfort in his company. Naturally, Deano can't stand him and he's determined to do something about it. Something lethal.
There are precedents for this set-up. In Martin McDonagh's Seven Psychopaths, Sam Rockwell displays a warped devotion to Colin Farrell - with homicidal side effects. And in the French film Harry, He's Here to Help (2000), Sergi Lopez decides that the object of his loyalty will be much happier without having a family to worry about. But these films leave you in no doubt about their tone and style. They're black comic psychological thrillers. This one is both more mundane and more exotic. It's an antipodean Dumb and Dumber which occasionally employs the shock tactics of the slasher movie, and most of it is set in a place of bucolic beauty - New Zealand's southern coastal stretch, the Catlins. It's here that Nige and Deano have spent their happiest holidays together. So amid its beaches, forests, waterfalls and sea life, they look for somewhere to dump the body in the boot of Nige's car. And with no inkling of the corpse's presence, Gav decides to come with them because he wants to see the penguins.
I wish the movie were as funny as it wants to be. It doesn't take long for the gormless Nige to lose his appeal. There's a limit to the laughs that you can mine from sheer stupidity. But Blake's combination of domestic tyrant and macho maniac is more inspired. Deano is a truly scary creation. Fizzing with energy and misdirected passion, he's completely devoid of emotional intelligence. The speed with which his mood can change astonishes him - especially when he decides Gav is a nice bloke after all. But if you think that sounds as if the film is heading to a sentimental ending, think again.
Its bracing refusal to conform to any of the bromance's more mawkish conventions is the best thing about it. It may not quite come off but it has a nice acid finish and it's refreshing, to say the least, to see someone take such concentrated aim at the cult of the kidult.