Kiwi-made Western (dubbed the "Pavlova Western"), set in America but shot in New Zealand, starring Cohen Holloway (Boy) and directed/written by Weta Workshop’s own Mike Wallis, making his feature debut. Click here for movie times.
Good for Nothing is an admirably slick production for a self-funded Kiwi movie, and a pretty good watch by any standard. The rugged Kiwi landscapes ably ‘play’ the American West and bring an untouched feel perhaps lacking in many Westerns filmed in the States.
The Hollywood Reporter review flatteringly cited the influence of the early films of Sam Raimi and the Coen brothers, and it’s not hard to see why. Audiences familiar with New Zealand film history might detect some of Geoff Murphy’s (Goodbye Pork Pie; Never Say Die) proclivity toward intercourse-centric puns and character development.
Indeed, the main character here can’t ‘get it up’, which pretty much drives the plot everywhere it goes. As said character – “The Man”, rising Kiwi talent Cohen Holloway is appreciably inscrutable and awesomely scuffed-up. This Sergio Leone-ish grimy quality permeates the entire film and elevates it to a place that where the grit is tangible and the suspension of disbelief is easy.
Female lead Inge Rademeyer is small in stature but hugely sympathetic as a young woman completely out of her element. The film wholly rests on the mostly unspoken relationship between her and The Man, and it proves a solid backbone for the story.
A touch of goodwill for a local production will help you appreciate Good for Nothing but it’s not necessary to make it worth your while.