Pork Pie re­hash lacks orig­i­nal’s zest

Kapiti Observer - - OUT & ABOUT -

It's just so de­press­ingly fa­mil­iar though, driven by pre­dictable plot­ting, well-worn tropes and un­en­thus­ing char­ac­ter arcs.

Re­view

Pork Pie (M) Di­rected by Matt Mur­phy Star­ring Dean O’Gor­man, James Rolle­ston, An­to­nia Preb­ble, Ash­leigh Cum­mings 105 mins com fare).

The other leads are ad­e­quate, with much less com­plex­ity to dive into, and some of the ex­pected comedic cameos sparkle – in par­tic­u­lar, ap­pear­ances from Rima Te Wi­ata and Thomas Sains­bury. Be­tween di­rec­tor Matt Mur­phy and cin­e­matog­ra­pher Crighton Bone, Pork Pie fre­quently looks fan­tas­tic, in both ac­tion and in­ti­mate mo­ments.

It’s just so de­press­ingly fa­mil­iar though, driven by pre­dictable plot­ting, well-worn tropes and un­en­thus­ing char­ac­ter arcs. And while Pork Pie whacks in a few ‘‘f...s’’ and tokes of weed, it’s de­void of the free­wheel­ing an­ar­chic sen­si­bil­ity it is the­o­ret­i­cally chan­nelling.

Rather than rep­re­sent­ing a counter-cul­ture, there’s a dis­cernible des­per­a­tion to be loved by a broad au­di­ence that ac­tu­ally un­der­mines such en­joy­ment. This presents it­self in achingly ob­vi­ous mu­sic choices ( Royals, Not Many) and forced di­a­logue that leans more to­wards the way TV com­mer­cials trade in sur­face-level-Ki­wiana nos­tal­gia than the seem­ing ef­fort­less­ness of Mur­phy Sr or Taika Waititi.

The lat­ter’s artistic and fi­nan­cial suc­cesses loom large over this, Pork Pie scream­ing an over-ea­ger­ness to em­u­late them on its way to an aver­age out­come. – Steve Ne­wall

James Rolle­ston and Dean O’Gor­man are the next gen­er­a­tion of Kiwi scal­ly­wags in the ‘re-imag­ined’ Pork Pie.

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