Freebird (15)

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Review byMatthew Turner31/01/2008

One out of Five stars
Running time: 96 mins

Painfully bad road movie-slash-stoner comedy that suffers from overacting, underacting, a terrible script, poor direction and several desperately unfunny gags.

What's it all about?
Written and directed by first-timer John Ivay, Freebird is a British road-movie-slash stoner comedy starring ex-boxer Gary Stretch as Fred, a biker who agrees to ride up to Wales and collect an enormous haul of marijuana as a favour to an aging crime boss (Peter Bowles as The Chairman). Fred duly recruits his two best biker buddies for moral support: courier-slash-small-time-criminal Tyg (Geoff Bell) and doped-up acid casualty Grouch (Phil Daniels).

However, no sooner are the hapless trio across the Severn Bridge than they find themselves slap bang in the middle of a turf war between two rival gangs: a Welsh-speaking biker brigade led by Rhodri (Alun ap Brinley) and the Wessex Boys, led by Sulph (Huggy Leaver). And as if that wasn't bad enough, the trio accidentally ingest industrial quantities of mushrooms and find themselves on the mother of all acid trips.

The Bad
Essentially, this is a British version of Wild Hogs (easily one of the worst films of last year) with all the horror that that implies. It's trying to be a sort of Withnail & I meets Easy Rider but it comes across as more like Wild Hogs with drug jokes and Welsh subtitles.

Phil Daniels is probably the best thing in Freebird (apart from the cover of the Lynyrd Skynyrd song by the Towers of London, which isn't bad), though he overacts hugely, probably to compensate for Gary Stretch's atrocious under-acting. In fact, Stretch barely even changes his expression throughout and he's so wooden that you seriously expect him to go up in flames during the campfire scene.

The Worst
In additon, the script is poorly written, the jokes fall painfully flat and the film degenerates into complete chaos (and not in a good way) once they take the mushrooms, completely abandoning all the various sub-plots.

Worth seeing?
In short, Freebird is a painfully unfunny comedy that's probably only going to appeal to actual bikers. Swerve to avoid.

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Content updated: 22/07/2018 08:09

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