From the biggest festival to the smallest church social, Kenny Smyth delivers porta-loos to them all. Ignored and unappreciated, he is one of the cogs in society's machinery; a knight in ... See full summary »
A P.I. is burdened by her late father's reputation of a corrupt cop. When she starts investigating a spree of murders in a bad neighborhood, she discovers a web of corruption which just might shed some new light on her father's past.
Following the lives of a dozen Australian soldiers who served in the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) during World War I which follows them from the 1915 battle of Galipoli, to ... See full summary »
When Boots's mother suddenly dies, he decides to take his father up to Cape York to fulfill a long-held promise with the hope of mending bridges between them.
'Charlie & Boots' takes the premise of the 'odd-couple' genre, empties out the inner workings of what makes it tick like a skilled taxidermist, and delivers a threadbare sequence of shots that loosely hold together as a storyline, with the hope that people will be too distracted by the presence of Shane Jacobson, Paul Hogan and the natural Eastern Australian scenery to notice the gaping void beneath where depth and meaning should normally reside. I could almost imagine the meeting session where the writers pinned the various clichés of drama and Australiana to the whiteboard. Character moments in which the two leads bond following the tragedies set up earlier seem forced and aren't properly followed up. One moment, there's a scene where they confront each other over their differences, which is then completely ignored by the 'hilarious' comedy set-piece of the next. It's like a film constructed by a marketing team, who have reduced cinema down to a collection of 'idea balls', which they then string together in a row, with the end result utterly devoid of meaning.
This can only explain the casting of the film's main stars - Shane Jacobson, the contemporary 'all-Aussie' personality, with the Paul Hogan, the 'loveable larrikin' of yesteryear. Jacobson was excellent in 'Kenny' and I would like to see more of him. No-one can deny Paul Hogan's legacy either, but he and Jacobson have absolutely no chemistry between them whatsoever, let alone a vaguely convincing physical resemblance that might help me believe they're in any way related. Jim Carrey and Jerod Mixon had more in common in 'Me, Myself & Irene'. Add to this the shameless prominence in the credits of the great Roy Billing, which puts even Matt Damon's star credit in 'Saving Private Ryan' a decade earlier to shame. And oh, look - there's Deborah Kennedy's five seconds of screen time so that we can say she was in this thing. Sure, the celebrity cameo is hardly unusual, but it seemed so gratuitous here that I could have sworn I saw a giant shoehorn leaning against my apartment building after the credits rolled.
Yet if I give the impression I felt pain watching 'Charlie & Boots', it actually isn't the case. What's painful is that this is the Australian equivalent of a Hugh Grant film - so deliberately constructed to appeal to a broad demographic with such obvious touches of national character stamped onto it that you know a lot of people are going to like it. Lovable Australian icons, check. Cinematic shots of the Australian countryside, check. Amusing yokels, check. Romanticised view of white Australia (presumably the presence of North Queensland's main demographic would only get in the way), check. Potential love interests that are never pursued to keep that G-rating intact, check. One reviewer on here mentioned the way the film is practically a tourism fluff piece - something I think it would take very little editing and a simple title change to achieve. It wouldn't surprise me if the DVD release came complete with a brochure of all the places visited, replete with all the 'fun facts' about them that so often passed for dialogue. The film's ending makes the whole exercise clear - seemingly abrupt, but only if you actually wanted to take something meaningful away with you.
So I know that whatever I say, 'Charlie & Boots' presses all the right buttons to have the superficial appeal necessary to reach its mass audience. It has a cast of competent actors, it's shot on location and showcases that marvellous rural Australian scenery, the humour will elicit a smile on occasion, and the 'feel-good' factor is cranked up to 10. It's just completely devoid of genuine effort, worth, and meaning. Honestly, wouldn't you rather see Paul Hogan and Shane Jacobson live up to their past glories? I know I would.
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