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Minka is a teenage Polynesian boy living in the heart of the city. With his P-addicted mother well on the way to going completely off the rails, three people enter his life - each with a promise - each with the power to destroy.
Jack, Thomas and Wayne are the Stickmen. They like nothing more than to have a beer in one hand, a pool cue in the other, a coin on the table and their mates around them. They play pub pool for fun and money at Dave's bar. Desperate to get out of debt, Dave gets the Stickmen entered into a high stakes pool tournament run by vicious crime boss "Daddy". He also gets them into a whole rack of trouble. Can the Stickmen beat the odds, pocket the money, win the girls and save Dave? You rack 'em, they crack 'em. And never take your eye off the ball. Written by
Evan Yates <email@example.com>
sometimes cliched, sometimes sexist but always enjoyable.
Rather than the Lockstock comparisons (con-tricks in a seedy pub-world of nicknames and an eccentric Mr. Big villain), I was more worried about this film becoming a kiwi take on Doug Lihman's "Swingers" - this worry compounded by the match-cutting of a pool ball been potted and a couple reaching orgasm in the opening minutes of the film.
The visual flashiness and misogynistic small-talk soon subsides and the film becomes a rather sweet sport-film (underdogs in the tournament of their lives, betrayal, self-doubt, physical incapacity before 'big game' etc.). The acting certainly helps, as does the novelty of each pool team representing a deliberately cartoonish tribal-stereotype (similar to the fun of the various 'gangs' in Walter Hill's "The Warriors").
The makers show they are a clever bunch making a competent mass market film that veers the right side of indulging rather than insulting the viewer's intelligence. (I especially liked the underplayed fact that if the stickmen win the final it will give the pub-landlord money to do up their seedy watering-hole and turn it into the sort of flashy pub they hate!)
60 out of 82.
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