Drug in­duced

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - FILM - DON­ALD CLARKE TARA BRADY

South Amer­ica. A whole se­ries of ar­gu­ments for in­ac­tion are ruth­lessly de­mol­ished. In one hear­ing, a US bu­reau­crat ar­gues that, be­cause Africans don’t have our sense of time, they wouldn’t know when to take their drugs.

Events even­tu­ally prove quite the re­verse. A shrewd in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the eco­nom­ics of big pharma con­firms that far more is spent on mar­ket­ing than is put the way of re­search.

The film lo­cates a num­ber of heroes: James P Love, an Amer­i­can who ques­tions the moral­ity of patent law; Dr Peter Mu­gyenyi, head of a HIV treat­ment cen­tre in Uganda; and, most im­pres­sive of all, Yusuf Hamied, an In­dian sci­en­tist who ul­ti­mately en­abled the drugs to be avail­able at a rea­son­able price.

Fire in the Blood is fo­cused acutely on his core sub­ject. But the longer it goes on, the clearer it be­comes that cap­i­tal­ism it­self is to blame for the in­equal­ity. Solv­ing that larger dilemma may re­quire a longer film – and a great many more heroes.

16 cert, gen­eral re­lease, 89 mins It is a truth uni­ver­sally ac­knowl­edged that a Buck in pos­ses­sion of a Euro 2012 ticket is in need of a de­tour to Amsterdam. This fa­mil­iar trope – yes, they end up smug­gling a package of drugs – pro­vides the spine of the Hardy Bucks’ mi­gra­tion to the sil­ver screen. Be­hind the fightin’ and schmokin’, we find a heart­warm­ing lit­tle-guy story.

The Hardy Bucks be­gan their pub­lic life as a kind of Trailer Park Boys trib­ute act on YouTube be­fore meme pop­u­lar­ity and an RTÉ se­ries cat­a­pulted their pot-smok­ing, skirt- chas­ing, crap-talk­ing, time­wast­ing brand of hu­mour be­fore an ap­pre­cia­tive cult au­di­ence.

Their first movie ven­ture ar­rives courtesy of Uni­ver­sal Stu­dios (no less) and an ill-fated trip to Poland where, it might be ar­gued, they still fare bet­ter than the na­tional team.

The road to Poz­nan is pre­dictably fraught. The Viper (show-stealer Chris Tord­off), the boy’s wannabe gangsta neme­sis, is the only one with match tick­ets. An as­tro­nom­i­cal bill from an Amsterdam es­tab­lish­ment leaves the Bucks act­ing as con­tra­band couri­ers be­tween dodgy Dutch gang­sters and dodgier Pol­ish coun­ter­parts.

In­evitably, the sense of one­horse-town con­fine­ment that char­ac­terised the orig­i­nal web se­ries gets a lit­tle lost when the chaps leave Mayo. Out on the road they’re never, we feel, as bored out of their skulls as they ought to be. At its best, the Hardy Bucks trade on the ba­nal­ity and scruffy sur­ru­ral­ism of life out­side the Big Schmoke (Gal­way).

Screen­writ­ers Mike Cock­ayne and Gerry Gre­aney at­tempt to com­pen­sate for the grander scale by recre­at­ing the Bucks’ own brand of culchie ex­is­ten­tial­ism and con­straint within the con­fines of a cam­per van.

It doesn’t all work, but there’s cer­tainly enough here to please the hard­core faith­ful or rev­ellers still won­der­ing what the hell they did in Poland. The Swin­ford posse know what you did last sum­mer.

Ex­pect sex toy-re­lated mishaps and bol­lock-naked­ness. But you prob­a­bly sus­pected as much.

The In-be­tween­ers, culchie style: The Hardy Bucks Movie

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