Imagine not leaving your apartment for over a year, living off vacuum packed, vegetarian astronaut food and having a strict organisational routine for filing your used dental floss and urine. And then imagine that routine is disrupted. This is what happens to Stephen (Edward Hogg) in ‘Bunny and the Bull’ and it forces him to reassess exactly why he has imprisoned himself for so long.
The event that got him into his current situation was a trip around Europe with his friend Bunny. However their interests clash; Stephen is a museum enthusiast, Bunny a heavy-drinking gambler aiming to get Stephen to “lighten up”. The road trip really begins when the two friends win a car gambling. Everything around Stephen acts as a trigger to a memory, such as the maps, photographs and the many cardboard boxes he has to organise everything from old combs to ‘Drinking Straws 1992-1993’. These memories are then brought to life by the use of animation, live action, mixed media but usually a mixture of both (think Michel Gondry).
This is the directorial debut by Paul King, director of The Mighty Boosh, so it has high expectations to meet. Co-conspirators Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt are present in cameo roles, but the film may actually have been better off without them as it diverts the attention away from the protagonists and the story unnecessarily. The film has quirkiness in abundance and the protagonists are wonderful but it is all let down somewhat by the lack of humour. Don’t get me wrong, there are chuckles in parts but the film can’t seem to decide if it is a heartfelt drama, or a quirky road-trip comedy. Our Editor put it best, ‘It’s like Michel Gondry doing an English Amelie, with men, and not doing it very well.’
The narrative feels disjointed and is never sure of the direction it’s heading in, but that’s what road trips are like. Nevertheless it has its charms, and for those who appreciate the style of Gondry and the Boosh there is much to admire in the beautiful sets and cinematography. As a fan of The Mighty Boosh, I was disappointed, but I certainly wasn’t expecting The Mighty Boosh Movie, and nor should you. I was more disappointed by the fact that The Mighty Boosh Movie probably would have been better.