Over the past few months I’ve written extensively about how 2009 has shaped up to be a bright and eclectic year for Australian cinema, showcasing the fruits of a rare period of creative oomph that has seen an impressive batch of new titles as varied and assured as Balibo, Samson & Delilah, Mary and Max, Cedar Boys, My Year Without Sex, The Combination and $9.99 as well as bona fide dusty classics remastered and resurrected from the brink of existence (Wake in Fright and Pure Shit). Aussie film appreciators long accustomed to gagging on cringe comedies and airy fairy dramas – I could provide examples but honestly, there are far too many to choose from – are or should be dancing on the streets while the party is still kicking and before the inevitable hangover sees the return of doom, gloom and famine, presumably in the form of mawkish duds like You and Your Stupid Mate or (the criminally over-rated) Japanese Story.
In an ominous sign of things to come, word recently broke that production will soon begin – next month in fact – on a belated sequel to Nick Giannopoulos’s 2000 hit The Wog Boy. It’s probably not fair to credit/lampoon Giannopoulos as the creative mastermind behind it – after all the film was co-written (by Chris Anastassiades) and directed by somebody else (Aleksi Vellis) – but he seems the most pertinent person to blame given his oily handprints are all over it, just as they were all over his subsequent kill-me-now comedy caper The Wannabes (2003). Critically well received The Wog Boy was not but, bizarrely, it made terrific biz at the box office, chalking up $13.4 million in ticket sales.
The Wog Boy 2: Kings of Mykonos reunites Giannopoulos with you’re-much-better-than-this-but-we-understand-you-need-to-pay-the-bills Vince Colosimo as buddies Steve and Frank, who travel to the Greek island of Mykonos to claim a family inheritance. It’ll be directed by Peter Andrikidis, who worked on some episodes of the first season of Underbelly. The film is set to be released in 2010, which will make a full 10 years since the original, thus begging the question: why didn’t the producers crank this into gear a long time ago? The accepted wisdom is that sequels are guaranteed 25% of the original title’s box office gross; could The Wog Boy 2 prove a spectacular exception to the rule? It’s hard to know whether to root for local ‘talent’ or pray for the movie’s crash-n-burn demise. I’m erring towards – if not deliberately endorsing – the latter.
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