Directed by: #PhilipLMoore
Written by: #PhilipLMoore
Film Review by: #ChrisBuick
Ox (Anderson) and Spud (How) are back on the streets after a couple of decades on the inside, now looking to pick up the pieces of the life they left behind some twenty years ago. But starting up the old Magpies gang isn’t as easy as they had hoped, especially when the new, young blood in the ranks is hardly up to the job.
The production of Malcolm and the Magpies was one plagued by catastrophe after catastrophe according to writer/director Philip L. Moore; lost footage, horrendous weather and crippling restrictions thanks to 2020’s most infamous C-word to name but a few. But while it’s true that problems such as these can seriously derail any film big or small, it’s hard to believe as the end credits roll on this ridiculous gangster parody that this project ever had a chance of success to begin with.
The film starts innocently and inoffensively enough. When Spud realises a fateful lottery win while inside has set him up for life, he looks to help out long-time partner Ox financially as well. But unable to convince Ox to accept what he sees as charity, Spud decides to plan a self-funded final job in the hopes of solving this problem while saving his partner's pride. What could go wrong?
Malcom (Moore) is essentially both Chuckle brothers rolled into one, multiplied by a thousand. Utterly inept at every task given to him, in one scene we see Malcolm struggling to dispose of a dead body that may not have in fact yet fully expired, somehow writing off a not inexpensive car with a digger in the process, and his ongoing floundering and incompetence means the Magpies whole operation for one last hurrah is a complete farce from beginning to end.
And if the film had carried out as it started in the first quarter of an hour or so, with some silly over-the-top slapstick and close-to-the-mark-but-relatively-fine jokes, Malcom and the Magpies could have been at least a somewhat amusing romp. But what plays outs for the remaining sixty minutes or so is nothing short of an absurd and at times offensive series of ridiculous scenarios, each more uncomfortable and void of any real humour as the next.
Female objectification, homophobic slurs, slightly racist attire – nothing is apparently off limits here. The film markets itself as ridiculous, but no pre-emption can really justify its content. One scene sees this group of older men leer at a teenage girl in her underwear as part of Malcolm’s “initiation ritual”, another sees them gawk at a young girl in a school hockey uniform, scenes that are disturbing and sad to watch with practically all of the female characters being horrendously represented in the same misogynistic tone-deaf manner.
Finally, the relentless barrage of painfully obvious and ridiculously puerile jokes, laden with infantile off-colour barbs makes this film a real struggle to endure and nowhere near as funny as it desperately wants to be. All that coupled with some extremely one-dimensional sub-par performances across the board means what we are left with is a cast of deplorable and detestable characters and no one to root for, instead just left slowly shaking our heads in disbelief.
Legitimately infuriating at times and a slog to watch. With future entries currently looking to be produced, one hopes that in future the series might try to climb a bit higher than the absolute bottom rung Malcolm and the Magpies perches itself on.
Watch the trailer for Malcolm and the Magpies here: