The Young Offenders (2016)
Directed by: Peter Foott | 83 minutes | adventure, comedy | Actors: Alex Murphy, Chris Walley, Hilary Rose, Dominic MacHale, PJ Gallagher, Shane Casey, Pascal Scott, Ciaran Bermingham, Michael Sands, Cora Fenton, Stephen O’Connor, Fionula Linehan, Tommy Harris
Irish teenagers Jock and Conor are best friends. They wear the same haircut (shaven on the side, flat on top), they secretly smoke cigarettes, they play pranks at school, and they both have an IQ only found in fetuses in the womb. One day these two stupid people learn that bags of drugs have been washed overboard on the Irish coast. So they grab the (nicked) bicycle and start a road trip in search of the drugs, which have a street value of 7 million.
In the comedy crime film ‘The Young Offenders’ we follow our adorable heroes on their quest. During that ride, Conor and Jock are chased by a local police officer, for whom notorious bicycle thief Jock has become his very own Moby Dick. Along the way, our fools come across an alcoholic farmer, where chicken lover Conor discovers his own inner chicken. They also run into a crippled, somewhat unstable criminal.
This wonderfully silly comedy relies mainly on humor. It’s a cross between the early Guy Ritchie and the adventures of the brainless wives from ‘Derry Girls’. But while our friends from Derry limit themselves to humor, our young offenders sometimes know how to move. Especially good-looking Conor, who is always aware of his own stupidity but has enough self-esteem to defend himself against Jock’s teasing and hurtful comments from his well-meaning, way too young mother.
But it is mainly the humor that does it here. It sometimes leans towards slapstick, but sometimes also reminds us of the dry humor of the somewhat comparable ‘Adam & Paul’. The silly plans and antics of the talentless would-be criminals are reminiscent of Guy Ritchie and the early films of Danny Boyle. Without the overly sharp edges.
For example, ‘The Young Offenders’ is a wonderful comedy, which, despite all the references, is mainly itself. Ghostly, sometimes moving, with beautiful pictures of the Irish coast and with music that really propels things forward. And with two heroes we won’t soon forget. Because oh, oh, oh, how funny this is!