MOVIE REVIEW: The little Aussie film that couldn’t
THE BBQ (PG)
Rating: one and a half stars (1.5 out of 5)
Director : Stephen Amis (The 25th Reich)
Starring : Shane Jacobson, Magda Szubanski, Manu Feildel, Julia Zemiro, Nicholas Hammond.
Stick a fork right through this. It is done.
The new Australian comedy The BBQ is so overwhelmingly bland, you often forget how faintly awful it consistently remains from beginning to end.
This flavour-free frolic seems equally determined not to offend, amuse, or for that matter, entertain.
It's just a big fat slab of movie margarine, spread to its absolute thinnest with the least energy or enthusiasm possible.
The industrial-strength slackness of The BBQ even gets the better of poor old Shane Jacobson, whose superpower of absolute Aussie affability is crushed by the kryptonite of calculated corniness.
Jacobson plays Dazza, a backyard barbecue obsessive forced to abandon his favourite pastime by his concerned missus (Julia Zemiro) after he almost poisons the whole neighbourhood with some off prawns.
By the end of the film, Dazza will have returned to active duty at the grill, sweating it out in the feeble final of a gourmet barbecue competition down at the local showground.
Along the way there, Dazza becomes mates with a secretive Scottish chef (Magda Szubanski), becomes enemies with a smartass French chef (Manu Feildel), and becomes convinced he is a descendant of the famous pioneering explorer Captain Cook.
It is all docile stuff for the most part, but dished out with the dimwitted delusion of a family-friendly movie that no family would ever want to make friends with.
The only viewers guaranteed to walk away with big smiles on their faces are associates of The BBQ's promotional partners, who paid a stack of dough to ensure their branding is tactlessly tattooed all over the place.
As for the cast, the less said the better. Jacobson has been too good for too long to take the rap for this schmozzle. However, the ever-popular Kenny star has burnt some goodwill here he will have to earn back in the long run.
While the same goes for Magda Szubanski (who wasn't all that flash in last year's Three Summers either), the same doesn't go for Manu Feildel (you knew him from My Kitchen Rules, but now you know His Acting Sucks).
It is downright strange to watch a comedy where the jokes (supposedly authored by a team of five writers) don't so much fall flat as lie very, very still. Perhaps in the hope you may not notice them at all.
The BBQ opens in cinemas today.