out of Five
Running time: 92
The boys are back in this in-joke comedy, which provides enough laughs and spot-the-local-landmark fun to be enjoyable while following a somewhat darker storyline to it’s predecessor.
What's it all about?
It’s been five years since the Duckrockers found girlfriends to take to Sione’s wedding and the boys find themselves a little isolated from each other. Michael (Robbie Magasiva) has moved over to Australia, Albert (Oscar Knightley) has married Tania (Madeleine Sami) and bought a house on the North Shore, Sefa (Shimpal Lelisi) has a couple of kids and Stanley (Iaheto Ah Hi) is a trainee Deacon in the Future Church.
When an unexpected turn of events brings the boys together they are sent by their Minister (Nathaniel Lees) to find Bolo (David Fane), who’s mysteriously disappeared.
The writers take a very brave risk with a big surprise within the first ten minutes of the film, changing the course of the film and creating a convincing excuse to get the boys back together. The sensitive topic is handled with skill and respect, creating some very touching moments in an otherwise larger-than-life comedy quest.
The cast are all on-form, slipping straight back into the characters they created six years ago. The added benefit of the boys having drifted apart provides ample opportunity for them to make fun of each other, especially Albert for moving to Glenfield. There are a lot of jokes which will only be understood by an Auckland crowd but there's still plenty to keep our non-JAFA friends laughing throughout.
The main problem with the film is that it is lighter on laughs than the first one, mostly due to the much darker plot, but also due to the fact that the first film was such a fresh, unique New Zealand comedy made with an audience in mind. While Sione’s 2 hits that same tone it doesn’t feel nearly as fresh or laugh-out-loud funny as it should, particularly given the comedic exploits of some of its stars in the period between films (notably Madeleine Sami with Supercity and David Fane in Outrageous Fortune and Love Birds).
The first film was a breath of fresh air for the New Zealand comedy film scene and while Sione’s 2 continues the positive momentum it doesn’t improve on the first film and should have been funnier given its hugely talented cast. Ultimately, though, Sione’s 2 is local, laugh-out-loud comedy at its best. Definitely worth seeing.
Sione's 2: Unfinished Business (M)