Pork Pie rehash lacks original’s zest
It's just so depressingly familiar though, driven by predictable plotting, well-worn tropes and unenthusing character arcs.
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.