"Jimeoin's challenged himself with a film and come off pretty well"
It's 1988 and two Irish blokes are on holiday in Australia. Well they're not really on holiday, they're actually on the run from an Irish thug who, up until now, they'd more or less forgotten about. Basically, Fergus (Jimeoin) and Wesley (McKee) are having too much fun dodging Australian immigration officials and following the ups and downs of Charlene from 'Neighbours'.The Craic signals the film debut of Irish comedian Jimeoin. Usually comedians of his ilk avoid the big screen and rightly so. Next to the half-hour sprint of television comedy, cinema is a marathon. And you can see why television best suits the stand-up comic: no plotline worries, no audience pining for the next instalment. Having achieved this, Jimeoin's challenged himself with a film and come off pretty well.
With a healthy measure of eighties nostalgia and a neat storyline, The Craic avoids falling into the trap of seeming like series of sketches pasted together. The proof lies in the script that is in part autobiographical. Sure there's a battery of Jimeoin's nimble-witted one-liners: "Of course I can surf, I just can't stand up", delivered with that wonderful mischievous expression, but it's his slightly poignant exchanges with the flawless McKee (The Bill, Divorcing Jack) that generate the film's warmth.
Jimeoin's gregariousness is clearly responsible and it's rubbed off on those around him: Hall (All Together Now) finally realises her potential and Walker (Totally Full Frontal) is, at last, let off the lead and almost steals the show towards the end. And even if you're not sold on Jimeoin's brand of humour, see The Craic just to hear Charles 'Bud' Tingwell swear.Australian audiences will respond to The Craic for two reasons: we love seeing people send us up and the migrant experience is not only a wealthy source of humour but one with which most Australians can empathise. ---Lex Hall