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Ben Kinnear and Mike Paddock are detectives with the Melbourne Police force's elite Zero Tolerance Unit. When a freak accident involving a dead magistrate lands them on the front page of the local paper, Ben and Mike are busted down to uniformed duties. But when Ben discovers a strange link between the accident and the business affairs of a shady casino boss he and Mike have been investigating, the pair decide they can no longer turn a blind eye to the corruption rife amongst their own colleagues. Written by
Bad Eggs is great debut from writer/director Tony Martin, starring well-known local talent.
We Aussies tend to enjoy our heroes portrayed as average-looking and bumbling, yet honest, lovable, and deceptively smart. On the flip side, we enjoy seeing our authorities and celebrities portrayed as dodgy, shady, corrupt, and fallible. (The tall-poppy syndrome.) This is a typical tale of a bumbling cop duo (Mick Molloy and Bob Franklin) who trip onto a trail of corruption, which goes a long way. In too deep and on the run, they must outsmart their hunters, and work out how to uncover the ring of corruption. Dragged into the mess is a local-rag reporter (the excellent Judith Lucy), who happens to be Molloy's ex-girlfriend, and a shy, conservative systems engineer (a very funny Alan Brough).
In what's essentially a p*ss-take of the local police, it's a 'serious' comedy, with most of the dialogue delivered in a overly-dramatic, dead-pan style. This fits in with the general style of the film, shot in a slightly pale, ghostly grading, with a score that helps the film keep it's faux-mystique.
Molloy and Lucy are fantastic together, and the sub-plot of their characters finding themselves helplessly thrown together again, after a less-than-amicable break-up, works very well. Bob Franklin is the real scene-stealer, though, as Molloy's slightly under-noticed partner.
Martin uses Franklin's brilliant straight-faced delivery, to help keep things from getting too serious. The debutant also livens things up with the use two truly excellent sight-gags, one of which is a hilarious narrated recollection by Franklin's character.
This film is good enough to even forgive the increasingly embarrassing number of times (four I think!) that the top of the boom mike can be seen in a couple of scenes. I don't think Mr. Martin will skip any more editing sessions for future projects! His raw talent, however, is plain to see. That, and the intelligence displayed in not trying to turn his debut film into more than it should be, has me looking forward to his next project.
Hopefully Bad Eggs will see the light of day overseas, as it's as darkly charming as other recent successful local films, The Castle, The Dish, and Crackerjack, are uplifting. A comeback of sorts, to the charming Aussie films of the seventies and early eighties? Please!
5 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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