A largely self-funded labour of love, this loosely autobiographical dramedy just can’t escape the shadows of its clear inspirations. This is a movie that clearly wants to be this generation’s Sione’s Wedding, but lacks the slick cohesion of the Naked Samoan performers who inhabited that Kiwi classic. It also missing having a writer equal to Sione’s Oscar Kightley/James Griffin combo, falling back on physical humour and easy insults, rather than creating any memorable dialogue or set pieces. You can free download and watch online from Filmxy.
Likewise, in comparison to recent, similar Polynesian tales like Three Wise Cousins and Hibiscus and Ruthless, this mistakes machismo for charm, with the female roles seriously underwritten and some of the boys’ behaviour (even during their evolutions) seriously out of step with 2019 sensibilities.
That said, this Pukekohe-shot sub-urban comedy is nowhere near a complete disaster (and way better than 2017’s Gary of the Pacific).
Former Super City and Nothing Trivial actor Masoe, who also wrote, directed and acted as casting director, does a great job of pacing the action, while everyone clearly looks like they were having a great time making this South Auckland answer to Swingers.