A Few Less Men
Xavier Samuel, Kris Marshall, Dacre Montgomery, Ryan Corr, Shane Jacobson
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The whole thing feels like a rush job built on a first draft script…
We’re a man down – and a significant number of jokes, too. After their mate Luke is rather unexpectedly killed by a falling rock mere moments after the conclusion of A Few Best Men, surviving bickering BFFs David (Xavier Samuel), Tom (Kris Marshall), and Mike (Dacre Montgomery) are tasked with transporting his body to Perth and then London for the funeral. Unluckily for them (but luckily for the running time), their plane crashes in the outback, forcing the three hapless Brits to trek through the bush, corpse in tow, encountering outback eccentrics along the way. Hilarity allegedly ensues.
The aptest descriptor for A Few Less Men is “lazy”. The whole thing feels like a rush job built on a first draft script foundation and flung out into the world more to meet a presale agreement and a target date than for any other reason, let alone anything so lofty as “art” or even “comedy”. Every joke is the easiest and most obvious, every punchline predictable, every plot twist as heavily telegraphed as a roundhouse punch from a Looney Tunes character.
But is it funny?
Yeah, intermittently – the movie treats jokes as a volume business, and when you throw that many at the wall, some of ’em are gonna stick. The three leads are charismatic enough, and a host of familiar Australian faces crop up to do their thing, with Shane Jacobson’s back block Norman Bates probably coming off best, while Ryan Corr gets paid to practice his Tom Hardy impression (which is pretty good!).
It’s all for no real, concrete end result. The film doesn’t even know how to finish, just kind of stopping at a fairly arbitrary point. The problem is that A Few Less Men isn’t really about anything; the occasional stab at addressing issues like grief, loss, and the changing nature of friendship seem particularly half-hearted, as though being included out of a sense of grudging obligation. The movie just about functions as a tourist ad (the Western Australian locations are quite lovely), but pretty much collapses as a coherent narrative. Still, if you’re feeling exceedingly undemanding, this will kill an hour and a half for you relatively painlessly.