Director: Mick Cockayne
Cast: Martin Maloney, Chris Tordoff, Owen Colgan
Running Time: 90 minutes
Release Date: February 22nd
In their first feature-length film, comedy troupe Hardy Bucks are moving well and truly beyond our borders. Set during the disastrous Euro 2012 in Poznan, Eddie Durkan, Buzz, French-Toast and Viper Higgins set off to Eastern Europe in a bid to rekindle the glory of Ireland’s more successful campaign in 1988. The film doesn’t require knowledge of football trivia—indeed, football features all of two minutes in the film. Director Mick Cockayne—a frequent collaborator with Hardy Bucks—has crafted an ingenious film that resonates with Irish audiences and, quite possibly, will translate into an effective comedy for an international market.
The characters in Hardy Bucks aren’t necessarily expanded upon or given room to grow. After all, how could they? They’re all stereotypical West Coast, Honda Civic driving layabouts. The charm is that they don’t grow, they don’t have a character arc as such—they simply drive laps of their town, drink Tuborg and Heineken and curse loudly. The story itself is straightforward and perfunctory. Enroute to Poznan, the group decided to take a detour in Amsterdam for the usual reasons—drugs and prostitutes. After a particularly raucous night in a strip club, they find themselves at the mercy of Polish gangsters who force them to be drug mules. As previously stated, you’re not watching Hardy Bucks for social commentary or intellectual writing. You’re watching it for cheap, bawdy laughs and brainless fun; all of which it has in spades.
The film loses its pacing towards the final act, but it’s a slight complaint. There’s enough gross-out, toilet humour moments throughout Hardy Bucks to be more than entertaining. Obviously, Hardy Bucks already has a substantial following and they’re sure to get a big kick out of a feature-length film. Those who are immune to their crass charm, however, won’t be swayed by this offering. Mick Cockayne’s direction is assured and steady and, for the most part, keeps a good sense of timing and pace. Hardy Bucks is an enjoyable romp that won’t tax the braincells or baffle the viewer. It’s easy, fun and uninhibited comedy.