Bula Quo! Movie Review
To launch their new album, the iconic 1970s rock band Status Quo indulges in a spirited action-comedy that might have worked when they were in their 20s. On the other hand, these guys are in their 60s, so it's more than a little strained. And it doesn't help that the writing, directing and editing are utterly inept. Although fans will enjoy the music.
It all takes place as the band's world tour touches down in Fiji, of all places. In between performing gigs, frontmen Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt entertain themselves by trying to ditch their manager Simon (Fairbrass) and his intern Caroline (Aikman). But they get in serious trouble when they stumble into a back-alley Russian roulette game run by mobster Wilson (Lovitz). As local journalists (Kennard and Heard) try to uncover the story, Simon and Caroline are struggling to regain control of the situation. And Wilson is hunting down Francis and Rick.
Not only does the plot never attempt to make any logical sense, but the filmmakers never bother trying to spark a sense of black comedy amid all the murderous goings on. Instead, director St Paul cuts away from anything remotely morbid, leaving us wondering what happened as he dives into yet another lacklustre slapstick set-piece. The movie has no sense of pace or energy at all, lurching through each scene amateurishly. At least the cast and crew appear to be having a lot of fun frolicking on a South Pacific island. Although St Paul never really captures its beauty or culture either.
There's clearly a sense that the filmmakers are going for a kind of madcap 1970s vibe, like the Beatles' Help or the Monkees' Head. But both of those were made by gifted directors who knew how to turn the band members into engaging film characters while finding smart comedy in silly situations. None of that happens here. Status Quo fans may enjoy seeing their heroes running around like idiots, and the soundtrack includes most of their hits as well as a number of new songs. But frankly even fans will wish that they'd just bought the music and avoided the movie.