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Bad Eggs (2003)

  Directed by: Tony Martin
Written by: Tony Martin
Starring: Nicholas Bell, Alan Brough, Bob Franklin, Bill Hunter, Judith Lucy, Shaun Micallef, Mick Molloy
Links: Bad Eggs on the IMDb
Genre: Comedy
Awards: AFI Awards: Best Film 2003 (nominee)

This movie gets: 7.00 (3 ratings)
nofreelist.com Ranking: Ranked equal 104th of 187 movies (2 ratings minimum; see full chart)

Bad Eggs (2003) is also mentioned in mino's review of Crackerjack (2002), andy-j's review of The Extra (2005) and mino's review of You Can't Stop the Murders (2003).

"Sick of Mick" - a review by andy-j

Ben (Mick Molloy) and Mike (Bob Franklin) are two undercover detectives working in the "Zero Tolerance Unit", a fictional arm of the Victorian Police Force. They seem to cause one public-relations disaster after another, and, after one too many screw-ups, are relegated to night-duty at the police headquarters. When the two of them smell a rat and start doing some snooping around, they find themselves knee-deep in a world of police corruption and murder. The more they uncover, the worse it gets for them, the corruption running deeper than either of them ever imagined. So it looks like it's up to the two of them to bust this conspiracy wide open, save the day, win the girl (Judith Lucy plays Julie, Ben's ex-girlfriend) and live happily ever after.

To be honest, I really didn't think Bad Eggs was that great. It definitely has its moments - there are some very very funny laugh-out-loud moments (Mike's stint on Australia's Most Wanted springs to mind), and the plot is, in parts, quite clever and intriguing. But, when it comes down to it, Bad Eggs is otherwise kinda mediocre. As the film wore on, the plot started to wear a little thin and I began to lose interest - in fact, I only just held on. Still, plot-wise, I wasn't ever much of a fan of this sort of thing.

My other beef is with the acting in this film. Bob Franklin is, as always, fantastic - giving his character a warm, charming innocence that is subtle, endearing, funny and just plain cool to watch. Mick Molloy doesn't come close. Let's face it, Molloy can only do one character (that of himself), and a lot more is required of him here. Sure, he needs to be a bit of a larrikan, but the script calls for him to show a serious side and Molloy just can't deliver. He comes off as transparent, unconvincing and rather annoying. The same could be said of Judith Lucy. I just didn't buy her in her role. Neither of them bring any warmth or personality to their parts. In my opinion, what really makes me laugh are characters, not just jokes, and the characters just aren't well-developed enough (or acted) to do that (with the exception of Bob Franklin's Mike). Additionally, the poor acting cheapens the plot - the surface-scratching characters seem completely out of place in a rather dramatic police corruption film.

I really want to like Bad Eggs. After all, it is written and directed by Tony Martin, a man who I think is one of Australia's most intelligent, witty and original comics. Tony admitted that he knocked this script up in record time, and I think it shows. While Bad Eggs does have some truly excellent moments for me, it's just not enough. I think Martin is capable of something a lot wittier and intriguing than Bad Eggs.

andy-j gives this movie 5 out of 10.
Review created on Thu 15 Jan 2004

"Another D-Gen delight" - a review by mino

Bad Eggs is the directorial debut of Tony Martin, the latest in a long line of The Late Show alumni to make his way on to bigger things. He's up against some stiff competition: The Castle (1997) is one of the most successful Australian comedies of all time, surely, and Crackerjack (2002), the debut of Martin's longtime cohort Mick Molloy, surprised a lot of people (including your humble reviewer) with its quality. So how does Bad Eggs stack up?

Firstly, let me say that it's no Castle, but that's largely because it doesn't try to be. While it may look like Bad Eggs is just a comedy set in the police force — a la Funky Cops — it's more than that. It's not so much a comedy set in the police force as it is a police drama with lots of funny bits. Or something in the middle. Look, I'm not sure, but there are certainly (semi-) serious bits, and there are certainly funny bits. It's not quite L. A. Confidential (1997), but it's not exactly The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (1988) either. It's a bit of a mixture.

Molloy himself plays Ben Kinnear, a member of the ‘ZTU’, an imaginary zero-tolerance unit of the Victorian police. Together with sidekick Mike Paddock (Bob Franklin), and ex-girlfriend Julie Bale (another fellow Late Show-er in Judith Lucy), Ben sets out to uncover the details of the corruption which is endemic in the unit.

Needless to say, many cunning plans are hatched, some laughs are had, some crazy characters turn up, and a good time is had by all.

The big worry with this film, as it was with Crackerjack itself, was Mick Molloy in a lead role. Expectations of the latter were low, purely because of Molloy's rather patchy past. Could he succeed twice in a row?

Well, yes, he could. Molloy is great as the world-weary but still surprisingly idealistic cop, and plays more convincingly off Lucy than he did in Crackerjack. While Molloy is good, though, it's the ever-hilarious Franklin who makes Bad Eggs into an instant winner for me. Franklin's dry humour has long been a favourite of mine, and he doesn't disappoint here. He really is hilarious. Great, too, is Alan Brough, in a small but important role, which he seems to enjoy greatly.

The script is much tighter than one would usually expect from an Australian comedy, and it manages to daintily tread the fine line between comedy and cop drama with some finesse. The detective-work parts aren't heavy-handed and obvious, which they could easily have been: some serious thought has gone into this movie. Production values are a bit shaky in parts — I never notice things like this, but I saw a boom mike enter the top of the shot not once but twice, for example — and the crazy but unfunny slapstick so beloved by Australian comedy-makers (cf. Crackers (1998)) rears its ugly head, but on the whole it would be a churlish soul indeed who didn't enjoy Bad Eggs.

Good job, folks.

Oh, and one final, ZTU-related annoyance: the 26th letter of the alphabet is pronounced zed, not zee. Yes, there are 291 million people in the USA who pronounce it ‘zee’: they're all wrong. Every last one of them.

mino gives this movie 8 out of 10.
Review created on Mon 1 Sep 2003

"Bad it ain't" - a review by pearly

Ben (Mick Molloy) and Mike (Bob Franklin) are detectives who, after a series of mess-ups, are put back in uniforms and sent out to police the streets. This doesn't stop these Bad Eggs from investigating their most recent case on the sly, though, and when they do, they uncover a conspiracy - but who is behind it all? And can they figure it all out without being killed in the process?

Bad Eggs is the first film to be written and directed by that funny guy who looks like Wally from the Where's Wally books, Mr Tony Martin. And he's done a pearler of a job on the script. It's like a package wrapped up in brown paper and tied together with chunky white string, complete with a bow on the top, and the ends of the string cut to the same length.

I'm not sure why Tony didn't choose to act in one of the larger roles himself (perhaps not one of the two head guys, but maybe one of the other bigger cop roles, or something), but Mick is able to play the role of a slightly dodgy policeman quite well, and he is very ably assisted by Franklin (who I happen to think is one of the funniest guys in Aussie comedy today - love that accent). Franklin in particular seems to relish his role, and his running gag about the four-colour pen is a movie highlight for me.

Somewhat disturbing is that Judith Lucy has again been cast as Molloy's love interest (they got it on in his film, Crackerjack (2002), as well), but I'm quite sure that this casting decision is purely based on the fact that they all know each other, rather than any sort of audition process. That said, Lucy is still primarily herself in this film, but she does a bit more "acting" than she did in Crackerjack, and does an okay job of it too (you have to forgive the fact that she's not the most amazing actor on the planet, because she's funny enough to make up for it - let's just hope we don't see her in any serious roles any time soon).

I think Bad Eggs is a stronger film than Crackerjack, mostly because its structure keeps you interested in what's going on (it being more suspenseful) until the very end. It's probably for the best that Martin threw away the first script that he wrote after being told it was crap, because the wait has been worthwhile. The smaller roles are also filled with interesting and funny people, especially Shaun Micallef as the premier, and Alan Brough as the nerdy computer cop.

A well put together, and funny film. Top work, gang.

pearly gives this movie 8 out of 10.
Review created on Fri 15 Aug 2003

Movie review statistics

Number of reviews: 3
Average rating: 7.00
Lowest rating: 5 (by andy-j)
Highest rating: 8 (by mino, pearly)
 
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5 
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Reader comments

  1. I really want to see this. Bob Franklin is ace.

    A comment from nofreelist's own mino on Wed 27 Aug 2003 18:10 #

  2. A hilarious movie about two of the most bumbling accident-prone cops in Australia. Mick Molloy brings his brilliant humour to give a belly full of laughs at every turn. Well done!

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from Rosie O'Donnell (http://www.featherfoot.cjb.net/) on Sat 19 Jun 2004 15:22 #

  3. This was a great movie. Mick Molloy is a genius. The scene at the beginning had everyone laughing their asses off.

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from Chris (http://crazyspoonkiller.deviantart.com) on Mon 24 Apr 2006 12:41 #

Those who have commented give this movie: 10.00 (2 ratings)

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