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Wog Boy, The

Reviewed By Chris Parry
Posted 02/29/00 23:15:25

"How do people find this funny?"
2 stars (Pretty Bad)

You know, comedy is a right bastard. What makes one person laugh rarely makes everyone laugh, and in the case of The Wogboy, I can see no real reason for anyone to be laughing at all. Yet they are. It's very odd. Distressingly so. Are easy one liners and cheap shots at ethnic groups "liberating"? I don't think so. Is "madcap" in? I hope not. Sorry, I can't take it. You're all fools. Fools, I tell you.

The one liner review - Nick Giannopoulos continues to extract every last drop of humour from what was once an ingenious and inventive stage routine, only to find that drops of humour do not a movie make.

The longer version - once upon a time an aussie lad of Greek descent started a comedy show called Wogs Out Of Work. It was funny, poked some gentle fun at racial stereotypes, contained some brilliantly insightful humour about growing up in Australia in an ethnic minority, and played to big houses everywhere.

Over the years after Wogs Out Of Work, Giannopoulos went to the well about nineteen times too many, with derivative stageshows such as Wogarama and his TV spin-off, Acropolis Now. What started as original and poignant was now a franchise, and a franchise losing steam fast. So perhaps it wasn't the best time to make a movie.

But hey, what do I know? In a time when the cinemas are chock full of fine cinema, The Wogboy is making a fortune. That's okay, you expect some hype flicks to make a penny before word gets out, but word is positive! Could this be the same flick I watched in nigh silence, but for the occasional sound of eyeball rolling within eyelid?

The story is thus, an unemployed aussie lad of greek descent is named by a politician as Australia's biggest dole bludger ('welfare recipient' for you foreigners out there), when he crashes his car into that of said politician. He must clear his name so he goes on TV to debate the polly. Suddenly, idiot-boy becomes the toast of the nation and the polly has to bring him down....zzzzzzzz... mixed in with this, let's face it, facile plot, is a series of idiots.. I mean ethnic stereotypes.. no, they're both. Tony The Yugoslav (who admittedly is very funny in the small amount of screen time he has) is a gangster. The local chemist is a mummy's boy pervert. The best friend is a slicked back, Travolta dancing, chick-magnet. And the hero is just an idiot.

Now, if everyone is an idiot, okay, so it's a comedy. But the non-ethnic players are all normal! Bring on the white women, for they're the only ones who don't spell cat with a K.

People, I'm sure Nick Giannopoulos is a real nice guy and really wanted to move away from the old stageshow here. But he hasn't. And if you're going to trade off the past, you better make damn sure you can compare to it. The Wogboy in no way, shape or form compares to Giannopoulos' past glory. If he wanted to make a film you'd forget in a day, he achieved that. Maybe The Wogboy will make money, but hey, so do hookers and we don't shake their hands for it.

Is the awfulness of The Wogboy Ginannopoulos' fault? Absolutely. Move on, Nick. You're on the eighth victory lap now and the race was only 100m long.

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