Waking Ned Devine

4 out of 10


"Ealing" Comedy From Britain

Waking Ned Devine? Fat chance if he`s in the audience! If you`ve seen the trailer, you`ve seen the film. With enough material for a half-hour short, this modern day "Whisky Galore" about a whole village conspiring to fraud the National Lottery is about 90% irrelevant filler to shore up the one-joke of "aren`t these cuddly country people in their cute hovells wonderful in ripping off the smug, slick cityboy". With nearly zero plot development and lots of scenes osome of Britain`s dreariest, rainsoaked countryside, it`s about as predictable as NOT winning the 649 this week.

Strangely, even though the film was made in the Isle of Man, financed by the Isle of Man Government and features lots of extras from the Isle of Man, it`s set in... Southern Ireland! It`s like making a film in Prince Edward Island and trying to pretend it`s Rhode Island. What`s the point?

If you can cope with the peering, through the gloom of the lousy lighting, you find Ian Bannen putting in the performance of a lifetime as the aging farmer who plans to "get rich quick". The film is endearing in many ways and you feel as if it`s the sort of film you really ought to be laughing at all the way through, but the humour just isn`t there. In a perfect audience, filled with little old ladies and kiddies, it still barely raised a laugh throughout its entire length. If this is what they hope will breathe new life into the British film industry, it`s as dead as Ned Devine.

In the case of reviewing one`s own country`s films, there is always the great temptation to give it a mark and write-up much better than it deserves. I have!

Playing For Laughs...That Just Aren`t There

Film Critic: Robert L Thompsett