Mickybo & Me - Film Review
Mickybo & Me (http://www.uip.ie/mickyboandme/#), Certificate 15
Directed by Terry Loane
Reviewed by David Kerr
Starring Adrian Dunbar, Ciaran Hinds, Gina McKee, Susan Lynch, Julie Waters and introducing John Jo McNeill and Niall Wright
Mickybo & Me brings back a lot of memories for me. It's a bittersweet comedy set in a divided Belfast in 1970, just as the troubles were starting to get underway. The opening shots show a shop exploding into the middle of a city street as Johnjo and his mum go to buy a pair of shoes. Part of the fun for me is identifying where in the city the different scenes where shot.
Oblivious to the disintegrating society around them two bright youngsters from each side of the rapidly widening sectarian divide in the city meet and become firm friends in the face of a gang of older boys led by Mickybo's archenemy, a boy he calls 'fartface'. Mickybo (John Jo McNeill) fascinates Johnjo (Niall Wright) who is quite unlike anyone he has ever met. Mickybo is cheeky but loveable - he's definately the leader - brash, self assured and confident.
After blagging their way into a local cinema to watch Butch cassidy and the Sundamce Kid, the boys become obsessed by the lives of Butch and Sundance and decide to run away to Australia, living as outlaws on the way. A scene in which Mickybo 'robs' a small town banks branch while Johnjo waits outside on a getaway bike is priceless. And a later scene where the boys, like their heroes Butch and Sundance are chased by security guards and Gardai (across the border in 'Australia') is terrific.
Sadly the reality of Seventies Belfast hits the boys hard in a shocking twist to the storyline just as they return from life on the run. Powerful stuff!
This film is magnificent, with strong supporting roles from Julie Walters as Mickybo's mum, Adrian Dunbar as Mickybo'stragic alcoholic da and Cairan Hinds as Johnjo's philandering dad.
Great stuff! Get over the occasional bad language and watch this film. The DVD also has a few bonus features including some deleted scenes and a short film showing how the stunts were done.