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