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British Film Review: BulaQuo
Review By Stuart Wright
BulaQuo is a Status Quo comedy caper movie set on the Island of Fiji. It stars, not surprisingly, Rick Parfitt and Francis Rossi in the lead roles - as themselves. The story kicks in when post-gig they give their hapless manager Simon (Craig Fairbrass) and new intern Caroline (Laura Aikman) the slip. The two grandfathers of boogie rock then stumble across a game of Russian roulette and video it on their phone. This includes footage of local crimelord, Wilson, played by recognisable character comedy actor - Jon Lovitz. This makes them wanted men and so the chase, or should I say the Fiji Island hopping adventure begins.
However you want to wrap this film up it's silly in every sense. Sure, the sweeping shots of the harbours, beaches, expensive hotels, boat rides and the odd tiny island are stunning, but so are cruise ship adverts. The laughs are gentle, most of the punch-lines are telegraphed and the action is keystone cops at best - except where Fairbrass is slinging his fists around. However, the bigger pull is going to be the music. Fans get nine new songs and eleven hit tracks from the film's soundtrack. From a live performance of their 1967 tune Pictures of Matchstick Men to an interesting treatment of their first number one single, 1975's Down Down. It starts out with Parfitt and Rossi jamming on ukuleles before a sea change in the action and the amped up version thunders to the fore; revealing itself as the perfect soundtrack for a foot chase and punch up.
BulaQuo is St. Paul's fifth feature since 1997's The Usual Children. Although his directorial experience only scratch the surface of a lengthy career working on over 130 titles as the Stunt Co-ordinator.
St. Paul also shares the BulaQuo writing credits with actress Jean Heard. She along with Fairbrass, Aikman and Matt Kennard (wannabe journalist, Dave, in BulaQuo) have starred in at least one other of St. Paul's five movies. In fact they all featured in his previous film - British gangster flick Frieght (2010).
It'd be harsh to be too critical about any of the acting per se - this isn't meant to be Taxi Driver, nor is it destined for the wider audience enjoyed by Spinal Tap or Hard Days Night. Parfitt/Rossi are very likeable and clearly had a lot of fun on set, but it's safe to say they look most relaxed when they're playing music.
With Quo fans rocking all over the world it's difficult to imagine critics making or breaking BulaQuo. Germany was the first major territory to buy the rights for BulaQuo in February 2013 and an India sequel - Namaste Quo - has already been greenlit.
Bula Quo Is In UK Cinemas On 5th July 2013
1/5 (film) 3/5 (Quo songs)
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