The Hardy Bucks Movie ***
Running Time: 89 minutes
Director: Mike Cockayne
Starring: Martin Maloney, Chris Tordoff, Owen Colgan, Peter Cassidy, Tom Kilgallon
(Movie House, Dublin Road, 27/03/13)
THE rambunctious amateur football game that kicks off The Hardy Bucks Movie sets the scene for the rest of the film, an enjoyable ‘lads on tour’ romp, which is as funny as it is cheap, low-brow and dumb.
The narrative is simple enough, a group of small town friends set off on the road to follow the Ireland football team at Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine. Misunderstandings, fallings out and misadventures abound in this oddball road movie and, while this is definitely boy’s own stuff, there is something just a little romantic about the idea of friends road-tripping across Europe.
Women, drink and drugs are the main topics of conversation amongst Eddie Durkan (Martin Maloney) and his ‘Euro Minions’ as even football takes a back seat. It’s no surprise then that the main trip takes a short sojourn in Amsterdam where the boys get mixed up in some dodgy dealings that try to add some depth to the narrative. It’s all a bit generic and plays to too many European stereotypes, but the enjoyability of the characters that first appeared as an online web series has not diminished.
The troupe of actors that have seen Hardy Bucks develop from a web series to a TV show on RTE and now a movie have always been the main reason to watch. There’s a great selfless chemistry to the comedy as everyone takes their fair share of being the butt of jokes, sometimes quite literally. Chris Tordoff as the slimy and self-deluded Viper is superb, never without his trademark shades even when handcuffed naked to his camper van. The initial set-up of Viper with his own rival ‘gang’ is really enjoyable before he is deserted and hooks up with Eddie and company and it’s a bit of a shame that this angle wasn’t pursued through the whole film as the Viper character is most enjoyable when he’s being really obnoxious and cocky. Martin Maloney also deserves special praise for providing most of the gravitas as the relative straight man of the group in Eddie.
Refreshingly low-brow and with a no holds barred attitude to comedy, The Hardy Bucks Movie comes across like an Irish ‘culchie’ version of The Inbetweeners Movie. At times the low budget, TV roots of the Hardy Bucks show through, but for the most part this is funny and enjoyable high jinx, elevated a notch higher by a liberal dose of Irish charm and the endearing buffoonery of a bunch of small town chancers.
Review by Richard Davis