Urban Cinefile
"He's totally morally ambiguous - but I don't judge him..."  -Daniel Craig on playing James Bond
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Tuesday, December 5, 2017 

Search SEARCH FOR A REVIEW
Our Review Policy OUR REVIEW POLICY
Printable page PRINTABLE PAGE

Help/Contact

WOG BOY, THE

SYNOPSIS:
Ensconced in the largely Greek neighbourhood of an inner-city Melbourne suburb, Steve (Nick Giannopoulos) is a good-natured larrikin whose life revolves around hanging out with his mates at the pizza parlour, posing at the local nightclub and hooning around in his cherished '69 Valiant. When he has a minor prang with a limo carrying the Minister for Employment (Geraldine Turner), and later impudently sends her the repair bill, the Minister decides to teach him a lesson by engineering a media slur campaign whereby he is labeled as "Australia's Biggest Dole Bludger". With his reputation (not to mention his unemployment benefits) hanging in the balance, Steve sets out to clear his name. Now he has to prove to the world, and to Celia (Lucy Bell) the girl he loves, that being a wogboy isn’t so bad after all.

"Nick Giannopoulos found success with stage revues like Wogs Out Of Work, Wog-O-Rama and the TV sit-com Acropolis Now by comically exploiting his ethnic immigrant background. Essentially he was always playing himself so for his big-screen debut he has wisely chosen not to tamper with the basic formula. And though he is the co-writer, producer and star, he hasn't set himself an overly ambitious goal, either. Wearing its sit-com sensibilities proudly on its sleeve, the film is aimed squarely at the same broad mainstream audience that made cringe-worthy local productions like The Castle and The Craic unexpected box-office successes. Which only further seems to reinforce the long-held notion that Aussie audiences will always support a dumbed-down contemporary Okker farce (featuring characters they can readily identify with) rather than esoteric fare like In A Savage Land. To throw brickbats at a film like The Wogboy would be akin to mistreating a lame puppy; it may reek of inelegance and habitude but its heart is in the right place and after a while you actually begin to warm to its manginess. Propped up by a rumbustious cast which includes Geraldine Turner, Vince Colosimo and even Derryn Hinch, Giannopoulos could well have a hit on his hands.
Leo Cameron

"As Leo says, this film has crowd-pleasing ambitions and sticks to what it knows best. In the process, we are spared the subtleties and nuances of Australia's rich social mix, and given instead the tour of its broadest, funniest sideshows. This means that 'wog' is worn as a badge of honour, and somehow it comes to mean an AUSTRALIAN wog - perhaps the most profound statement the film makes. And a good one it is too, because watching the film we realise that the humour is Australian, not imported. The characters are Australian suburban people (all right, a bit overdressed and over done, but hey, this is a comic outing). It's really a gentle comedy, despite the bravura of its title and its opening gambit. Derryn Hinch deserves credit for playing his own character, warts and all, and the jovial jokes are all worthy of repetition at your next barbecue."
Andrew L. Urban

"Nick Giannopolous has been working this material so long he knows it like the back of his hand. You could say a lot of this stuff is in the public domain by now – anyone can make jokes about macho guys hooning round in Monaros – but as in The Castle, it’s the detail and accuracy of the observation that counts (and there are clearly lots of in-jokes for a hometown audience). It’s a populist comedy, but a sophisticated one. The play with images and stereotypes is very self-aware (maybe a bit too much so) and many of the jokes turn on how these images are constructed and reconstructed – as when Nick becomes a TV star on the strength of his ‘wogboy’ persona, or when recent Asian immigrants try to fit in by dressing and acting like Greek boys. Unlike The Castle, The Wogboy has a director, Aleksi Vellis (Nirvana Street Murder) who can give proceedings a bit of pace and visual energy – and he certainly has fun tying together the film’s many subplots. What’s more, for once the political satire actually has some bite: Nick gets involved in marketing a very plausible-sounding Work For The Dole program, and Derryn Hinch appears as an exceptionally nasty version of himself. All up, this deserves to be a hit, though despite the kidding of masculinity the treatment of women remains a bit of a worry: there are no wog girls in sight, and the Anglo romantic interest is a complete bitch. Where’s Effie when you need her?"
Jake Wilson

Email this article

CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 3
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

TRAILER

See Andrew L. Urban's explores
THE MAKING OF The Wog Boy

See Brad Green's
SOUNDTRACK REVIEWS

WOG BOY, THE (M15+)
(AUS)

CAST: Nick Giannopoulos, Lucy Bell, Vince Colosimo, Geraldine Turner, Abi Tucker and Derryn Hinch

DIRECTOR: Aleksi Vellis

PRODUCER: John Brousek, Nick Giannopoulos

SCRIPT: Nick Giannopoulos, Chris Anastassiades

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Roger Lanser

EDITOR: Suresh Ayyar

MUSIC: Cezary Skubiszewski

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Bernadette Wynack

RUNNING TIME: 90 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Fox

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: February 24, 2000

VIDEO RELEASE: November 22, 2000

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Fox Home Entertainment







© Urban Cinefile 1997 - 2017