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GARY OF THE PACIFIC
Cast: Josh Thomson, Megan Stevenson, Matt Whelan, Dave Fane, Taofi Mose-Tuiloma, Dominic Ona-Ariki
Two stars (out of five)
Comedian Josh Thomson, Timaru’s most famous Tongan export, has been part of the show since the early days and consistently delivers the goods whenever he appears. He’s also carved out a bit of a reputation as a uniquely gifted comic actor, and maybe most notably starred in downlow’s excellent Only Son, which took out the 48Hours film-making competition in 2010 before going on to win two Qantas film and television awards, the first and only time a 48Hours entry had achieved this. It makes sense they’d want to employ his acerbic talents for their feature debut.
Surprisingly, Gary of the Pacific has been in various stages of development for roughly nine years, so you’d think the lads would have had enough time to cook up a decent storyline and some vaguely likeable characters. Thomson, who is by far the main reason to see this otherwise half-baked effort, still manages to produce a handful of OK laughs, presumably improvised from the dead-on-arrival script.
The trailer gives away most of the plot so I won’t bother rehashing it here except to say that it’s basically the Kiwi equivalent of a fish-out-of-water Farrelly Brothers flick but without the R-rated gags to make it worthwhile. Amusing at best, a missed opportunity at worst.
- Jeremy Quinn