Black comedy about Nige, his best mate Deano, and their inept efforts to cover up an accidental death after a hit and run. Stars Flight of the Conchords' Bret McKenzie and Hamish & Andy's Hamish Blake. Now playing nationwide.
With Scarfies, Out of the Blue and his episodes of grievously-overlooked sci-fi series This is not My Life, Robert Sarkies (along with his writing sibling Duncan) is a Kiwi filmmaking treasure. Sadly, the brothers’ return to black comedy does not add anything to their reputation.
While their relationship is central to the film, we hardly ever get to see blissful idiot Nige (Bret McKenzie) and Deano (Hamish Blake) as actual mates, making it difficult to care about their bloke-mantic relationship and, consequently, Two Little Boys’ murder cover-up scenario. For a good 95% of the film, they’re at each other’s necks, fuelled by the bruv triangle completed by Nige’s new BFF Gav. This conflict wouldn’t be a bad thing had the pair’s back-and-forth banter been funny. But while their repartee never feels obnoxious or overtly offensive, there’s simply not enough humour to complement the script’s f-bombardment.
Making his feature debut, Maaka Pohatu is a loveable standout as the big-hearted Gav. His happily naïve presence is a welcome relief from the leads’ constant bickering. Bret and Hamish also show some natural on-screen chemistry but it’s unfortunate that the material they have to work with doesn’t reach the level of their performances.
The Sarkies use the Catlins to give the early 90s New Zealand a relatable, homely charm. It’s a pity they couldn’t do the same for Deano and Nige. With the exception of the climax, Two Little Boys beats down any sense of fun and wit it could potentially have with its hard-to-like characters and adolescent dialogue.