‘Pork Pie’ sees the reboot of the 80’s classic Kiwi movie ‘Goodbye Porkpie’. The film was written and directed by Matt Murphy, son of the original film’s director, Geoff Murphy, so there’s a lot of love and nostalgia going into this project.
The story follows the accidental outlaws of Luke, Jon and later Kiera who travel across New Zealand in a stolen, but beautifully pretty, new yellow mini. Each has their own reason for running but Jon’s is love and that is the driver of all his motivations in the movie, and ultimately the journey that the other two misfits join.
The stunts and city driving sequences are fantastically shot. Fast and fun car action litters the movie and provides for some well executed top notch Hollywood-worthy car chases. This culminates in bigger and better shots the further into the film you get. Then there’s the beautiful showcasing of Aotearoa herself, where long sweeping shots look like an expensive ad for Mini – or New Zealand – or driving a Mini in New Zealand. Either way Pork Pie again creates some great cinematography here.
However, I didn’t feel as much love and connection with the characters as I did for the little yellow vehicle. The performances by the cast are really fantastic but I just didn’t get enough chemistry between Dean O’Gorman (Trumbo, Hillary, The Hobbit), James Rolleston (Boy, The Dark Horse, The Rehearsal) and Ashleigh Cummings (Puberty Blues, Tomorrow when the War Began). At times the film felt like a series of great shots interspersed with the story meaning that ultimately the characterisation and plot played second fiddle to a slick appearance. All three give strong performances but I think the script and lack of pace and banter let them down somewhat. The supporting cast are great too and present viewers with a few local content Easter Eggs that will please Kiwi audiences.
Overall, ‘Pork Pie’ is a fun and good looking movie that will no doubt do well at the New Zealand box office, but I don’t think it will travel globally like Hunt For The Wilderpeople was able to.
Go see Pork Pie for a slice of classic Kiwiana updated for a whole new audience. Check it out at the cinema from 2 February.
Reviewed by Ingrid Grenar