Leon Schuster is back and this time he’s got some new friends in the form of the versatile Kenneth Nkosi and the incredibly good looking Tanit Phoenix along with the ever present Alfred Ntombela.
Now I’m going to stop right here and give you a warning. If you are a high brow film connoisseur that frequents Cinema Nouveau and likes to talk about art direction, sweeping camera shots and in-depth cultured story lines that make you think deeply about the meaning of the universe and your place in it then you are in the wrong place. Rather go read our dual Prometheus reviews by Kervyn and Noelle.
However if you’re looking to find out whether you should go watch Mad Buddies or not and you realise it’s a Leon Schuster film then read on.
In Leon’s own words the plot of Mad Buddies is thin and the pranks are thick as you follow the story of 2 men, Boetie (Leon Schuster) and Beast (Kenneth Nkosi), as they are forced to work together on a road trip from Kwazulu-Natal to Gauteng on foot.
The road trip stems from an initial misunderstanding where they were both attempting to catch a poacher and Boetie manages to get his toe shot off, well mostly off, he does the rest with the aid of a knife which turned my stomach to no end. Anyway the misunderstanding results in both Boetie and Beast leaving their positions as game rangers and meeting up later at Mr Mda’s (Alfred Ntombela) daughter’s wedding and getting into an argument that destroys the entire event.
After which Kelsey (Tanit Phoenix) comes up with the plan to get them to walk from KZN to GP while she films the entire event as a reality show without their knowledge. That is the end of the plot, no seriously that’s it. There is no more story than that.
From then on it’s slapstick gag after toilet humour over and over again, it’s got some twists and turns but none that you’d be overly surprised at and midway through we’re given a little mini rendition of The Hangover which is pulled off magnificently.
In a sign of the times, we are also treated to an openly gay boer who runs a flower farm and for some reason has a stock of crocodiles on hand, we also get to hear what Jacob Zuma is when he’s not happy and get to see Alfred take on slap-stick comedy in a good way to varying effects. The statue scene and car/gate scene had the theatre cracking up even though they didn’t do it for me, but his ladder skit killed me though.
And in sticking with a Leon Schuster movie we can expect a brand new cultural meme to come out of this with the classic one liner that comes out of the Lesotho highlanders mouth. It’s easily my favourite moment of the entire movie and one that I can see myself using again and again to annoy anyone I can find.
In a slight change from Leon’s normal movies very little racial humour is used, which I hope is a sign of our growing maturity as a country, but other than that it’s the same old style of movies that you’ve either grown to love or hate. And if box office takings are anything to go by then South African’s love of this humour and this movie is once again going to set box office sales alight.
The big difference with this Schuster film is that for the first time it has been financed by Disney and the Disney marketing and distribution machine will be pushing this one locally and then into select international regions. Which if it succeeds could well lead to an influx of foreign investment into our local film market, something which you would be hard pressed to be negative about.
In the end it’s a safe play by the team behind Mad Buddies, it’s not perfect and some parts felt really laboured but all in all I enjoyed the experience of watching it. And if you enjoyed Leon Schuster’s previous movies then this is a must see but if you felt his previous movies were the worst of what the local industry could offer then you’re not going to be happy with this one.
Last Updated: June 14, 2012