Australian comedy phenomenon Yahoo Serious delivers a puerile comic free-for-all that isn't redeemed by a splashy visual style and widescreen color panoramas worthy of a travelogue.
In the lush Australian wilderness, Reckless Kelly (Serious), a direct descendant of the outlaw Ned Kelly, carries on the family's Robin Hood legacy. Reckless, who has inherited the bullet-resistant thick skin of his forebears, robs big-city banks and distributes the proceeds to the poor. While
knocking over a bank headed by Sir John (Hugo Weaving), a soulless Englishman, he falls head over heels for Robin Banks (Melora Hardin), a Shakespeare-quoting teller and aspiring actress. In retaliation, Sir John decides to sell the Kellys' homestead paradise to the Japanese; Reckless can't simply
steal the million-dollar purchase price because the family tradition forbids theft for personal gain.
Brainstorming while watching Hollywood crime films on video, Reckless figures that robbing banks in America wouldn't violate his ethics. But he's flummoxed by American banking methods and nearly gets gunned down by the LAPD, who are cooperating with Sir John's enforcer, Major Wimp (Alexei
Sayle). Then the outlaw hero stumbles onto a film set, where direct-to-video huckster Sam Delance (John Pinette) recognizes star quality and offers him a part. Reckless is top-billed in an action extravaganza, "The Christian Cowboy," which seems headed for a box office bonanza until Sir John
freezes the film company's assets. But with a million in cash that Mrs. Delance (Kathleen Freeman) had squirreled away, Kelly returns to Australia in time to stop the Japanese from literally dragging his coastal paradise away. The Kelly clan triumphs, using beer cans to immobilize Sir John's
There are some clever sight gags here (e.g. Kathleen Freeman taking her "laundered funds" right out of her washing machine), and the sunny, sweeping cinematography is a welcome pleasure. Unfortunately, this visual sophistication is at the mercy of a resistably adolescent sense of humor; the
result is something like The Three Stooges as directed by David Lean. The self-infatuated Serious is a would-be comic tornado like Jerry Lewis or Jim Carrey, with one decisive difference: he's not very funny. The screenplay is no help, offering facile characterizations of authority figures, pat
attitudinizing about foreign cultures, and an unearned emphasis on Serious' sex appeal that recalls the debacle of Pee Wee Herman as romantic hero in BIG TOP PEE WEE. (Violence, profanity.)
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- Released: 1994
- Rating: PG
- Review: Australian comedy phenomenon Yahoo Serious delivers a puerile comic free-for-all that isn't redeemed by a splashy visual style and widescreen color panoramas worthy of a travelogue. In the lush Australian wilderness, Reckless Kelly (Serious), a direct d… (more)