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Beware of Greeks Bearing Guns (Fovou tous Ellines...) (2000)

  Directed by: John Tatoulis
Written by: Tom Galbraith, Lakis Lazopoulos
Starring: John Bluthal, Claudia Buttazzoni, Zoe Carides, Lakis Lazopoulos
Links: Beware of Greeks Bearing Guns on the IMDb, Official site
Genre: Comedy

This movie gets: 5.00 (1 rating)
nofreelist.com Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

"When cultures collide" - a review by pearly

Beware of Greeks Bearing Guns is an Australian comedy in the style of a Greek legend. It's the story of Manos (Lakis Lazopoulos), a man who lives on the Greek island of Crete with his twin brother and his grandmother. When Manos was little, his grandfather was killed by another man, and for his entire life, his grandmother has told him that, being the eldest by a short margin, he is the one that will need to avenge his grandfather's death, just as soon as the man who killed his grandfather can be found.

So, when the murderer is found to be living in Australia, Manos is sent to stay with his old flame Nicki (Zoe Carides) and to prepare a plan for killing his mortal enemy. The story becomes more complicated as Manos does not really want to go ahead with the killing, but his twin George (also played by Lazopoulos), is more than willing to do the job for him.

With Beware of Greeks Bearing Guns, director John Tatoulis has taken his interest in the link between Australia and Greece to the next level, combining elements from his earlier work on kid's television series Adventures on Kythera with new ideas to form this adult comedy feature movie. To do this, he has joined forces with popular Greek actor Lazopoulos to put together the script, and has then cast the movie with both Greek and Australian actors, making for a more unique experience.

Aiming at being a comedy, this movie isn't particularly funny, but would probably be moreso to prior fans of Lazopoulos, who is apparently well-loved in Greece. To me, having the same actor playing twins seemed such an old idea (The Parent Trap (1961) starring Hayley Mills and its subsequent sequels and copy-cats seem obvious inspiration), and were it not for the comedy aspect, the movie did not really need this element to sustain interest. If anything, the movie would probably have been better if a decision were made up front about whether they were after an Australian or a Greek audience, and then decisions could have been made to cater for one or the other, instead of trying to please everyone.

Having said that, I enjoyed the back-story about the traditions of the Greek family, and the sections involving Claudia Buttazzoni as Nicki's daughter, now far removed from the Greek culture, were reminiscent of Looking for Alibrandi (but with Greeks rather than Italians). The performances are nothing stunning, but they get the job done, and the production is adequate, with the scenes in Greece, and the Greek-style music being my favourite parts.

As a bonus, on the DVD there is also a short film called Bowl Me Over (2001), which is along a similar vein in terms of Greek versus Australian culture.

pearly gives this movie 5 out of 10.
Review created on Wed 3 Dec 2003

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Reader comments

  1. Veru nice movie..traditional

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from Andreas on Fri 30 Jan 2004 04:22 #

  2. Strongly recommended

    Rating given: 9

    A comment from Petros on Fri 09 Jul 2004 09:38 #

Those who have commented give this movie: 9.50 (2 ratings)

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