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  New Century of Cinema


DOWSE Guide to the Movies
by Tony Lee editor of Pigasus Press

Kevin & Perry Go Large

Director: Ed Bye
80 minutes (15) Icon
review by Ian Shutter

Harry Enfield once described his comedy as "Dick Emery with A-Levels", and this feature length comedy (version large?) based on the eagerly observed character of Kevin (a none-too-subtle parody of the disobedient British teen) recalls Emery's scattershot work and familiar TV catchphrases. Emery's 1970s popularity relied, chiefly, on his drag act: "Ooh, you are awful but I like you." while Enfield's often confused, decidedly un-cool youngster is a less pleasant creation, forever arguing with agreeably tolerant parents: "That's so unfair!" and "I am not your slave." As with Emery, though, it's the delivery not the words themselves that's so funny.
  After a lengthy prologue, this fairly ripe adventure sees Kevin (who can only be insulted by calling him a virgin) and chum Perry (Kathy Burke, who manages to pervert decades of pantomime tradition), embark on a Mediterranean holiday, where they prowl the beaches with a bikini-zeroed camcorder, bury their frequent oversized erections in the sand, get puked on, scorned, exploited and suffer kinds of private shame and public humiliation. As expected, much of this is cruelty is played for gross factor max, and at a cheerlessly one-note register.
  Rhys Ifans appears as 'eyeball Paul', the celebrity deejay giving Kevin and Perry a chance to make it big on the dance scene with their back bedroom mix 'Big Girl'. The music is passable, but dreadfully conventional. Location filming is a bit of a waste of Ibiza (they used the real one). The innuendo-laden script is unfortunately locked into the pure laziness of TV sketches on a theme instead of even attempting movie plot construction. There is one quite amusing sequence, however: after falling out with Perry, Kevin blubbers miserably to mum and dad who, later, both sigh with relief when he stops doing whatever they say, again - as that's a sure sign that he's feeling better!
  This is a sort of homegrown 'Bill & Ted' or Wayne's World, but with greater emphasis on personal failure, social ineptitude, and cliquey peer pressures. It's a spotty faced safari in the hormonal jungle with ridiculously juvenile sex fantasies and much Pythonesque grotesquery. Largely (sorry, no pun intended!) roasted by the critics, Kevin & Perry Go Large is nothing less than a geek tragedy.

Ian Shutter
originally published online in VideoVista #20, November 2000 issue

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