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average rating is 4 out of 5


Patrick Foley


Posted on:

Apr 12, 2024

Film Reviews
Directed by:
James Rooke
Written by:
James Rooke
Emun Elliott, Kal John, Aaliyah Iruoesiri

In Whippy, director James Rooke brings to screen the most intense ice cream war seen since Peter Kay donned his ‘Mr. Softy Top’ wig. This short Scottish send-up of bloody gangland movies is great value for a mini-milk sized comedy that brings a new meaning to brandishing a magnum.


Glasgow, 1983. A turf war has erupted around the outer-city tower blocks over an addictive white substance that makes people go crazy when they hear music. Dealers fiercely protect their parks, and when a notorious seller known only as Mr. Sprinkles (Emun Elliott) hears that John (Kal John), a new ice-cream man has been selling 99s on his patch, he takes drastic action. A tense stand-off threatens to spill strawberry sauce, until a demanding customer (Aaliyah Iruoesiri) intervenes…


At its screwball centre, Whippy is a fun and clever comedy short that works brilliantly as a short parody of intense gangland bloodbath movies. It uses its central premise of a violent ice-cream turf war to deliver some great gags and play with the genre it upends. Played absolutely straight until the final few seconds, the sheer novelty of hardened Glaswegian accents snarling over the severity of the cornetto market is inherently great. The additional use of ice cream-adjacent props for humour, including one particularly unlucky cone and some surprisingly voluminous sauce is the flake on top of the 99.


At only 5 minutes long, the film is a little more Calippo than Ben & Jerry’s in the depth department. It never really aims to be more than a drawn-out gag, a great scenario but one that receives little more development than it requires for its base premise. The last bite of an ice-cream is often the best, whether it’s the bottom of a cornetto or the melted creamy remnants at the end of a McFlurry – and the reason why is because it leaves you wanting more. Whippy ends the same, quickly and neatly running through its story satisfactorily, but leaving plenty on the table.


Emun Elliott and Kal John are both menacingly great in their roles, bringing an intensity that is critical for the ridiculousness to land when one remembers that these two grizzled, brutish operators are fighting over desert. No strangers to much more serious projects, the film cleverly makes central the unknown but evident personal rivalry between the pair, and lets the humour flow from audience amusement at the premise rather than forcing gags or needing to explain the farce of their battle.


A brilliant quick comedic treat, Whippy will tickle those with love for the gangster genre and beyond. Much like an ice-cream, it comes and goes far too quickly, but is a great ride whilst you’ve got it in your hand.

About the Film Critic
Patrick Foley
Patrick Foley
Digital / DVD Release, Short Film
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