Not sure why I’m bothering to review this very minor B-pic comedy, other than that it was directed by Paul King of the Mighty Boosh fame, and because it manages to look and sound very different to the bulk of comedies by virtue of being highly stylised, apart from a brief section near the end when real life rudely intervenes.
This is the story of a trip around Europe undertaken by an odd couple, comprising Stephen Turnbull (Edward Hogg), a hermit-like young man with OCD tendencies and a love for blue cocktails, and his laddish chum Bunny (Simon Farnaby), who loves betting, sex, bad behaviour, pushing limits and, bizarrely, a dire restaurant chain entitled Captain Crab.
The story of the trip is told in an episodic flashback style from the comfort of Stephen’s flat with the aid of tickets, souvenirs and other artefacts to remind him of events. Here we discover the route taken around Europe and how the guys encounter their travelling companion, a superstitious Spanish waitress called Eloisa (Verónica Echegui), a dog-loving tramp, an alcoholic ex-matator and other unique character creations in a stylised make-believe version of Europe.
Stylistically and imaginatively, this is not a movie to appeal to every Billy Bunter (rhyming slang, for the uninitiated), though is it funny? Like the curate’s egg, it’s good in parts; and like every sketch show you ever saw, it’s funny in parts. Some scenes inevitably work better than others, though the cohesiveness is helped by the ending, explaining why Turnbull has spent a year holed up in his flat alone, and why he is finally leaving said flat.
Full marks for the zappy style and for not falling prey to the norms and cliches of film presentation, though King has some distance yet to travel before reaching full maturity as a movie director. One wonders where his next venture might lead – worth keeping an eye open for it though.