It appears Hollywood’s obsession with unnecessary sequels has hit Australian shores, with the recent release of perhaps the most unnecessary of all follow-up films: Kings of Mykonos. Nick Giannopoulos and Vince Colosimo reprise their roles as “Wog Boys” Steve and Frank, who embark on a trip to the beautiful Greek island to claim what is theirs: A beach Steve has apparently inherited following the passing of his relative Panos. While trying to get around some red tape, and the evil intentions of Alex Dimitriades’ Mihali, each learns a little something about love, friendship and family (it is a film about Greeks, after all).
Prior to viewing, this film carried with it the lowest expectations I’ve had for some time. That being said, I have to say that it wasn’t nearly as terrible as I had envisioned. Acting-wise, both Nick and Vince fail to convince in the opening scenes, but they eventually pick up where they left off in the original as Kings of Mykonos progresses. Dimitriades (best known as “The Running Man” from the first season of Underbelly) comes along for the ride, and seems to relish bringing some comedic value to a non-traditional villain.
Fans of The Wog Boy will enjoy cameos by Frank’s wrestler-turned-pizza-store-owning dad, as well as the compensation-seeking uncle, both of whom make enjoyable references to the original. The standout, though, is Tony Yugoslav, who benefits from a larger role in the sequel. He’s still fat. Still a con artist. And still loves to swear. And yet, it works wonders in a film that plays to his style of humor.
Speaking of which, it almost goes without saying that the majority of humor in the film is targeted at Greek-Australians, and it helps to be of that nationality to appreciate the jokes. Despite this, some of the film’s most comedic moments arise from playing off Greek stereotypes that even non-Greeks should recognize. Our laziness, obnoxiousness, love of food and, in the most memorable scene of the movie, hatred of Turks is all on display, delivering some hearty laughs in the process.
The dialogue is painfully cliché-ridden at times, though, particularly when the film takes a more sentimental as opposed to humorous approach. It could be said that innovation in this department was not exactly a priority of the filmmakers, nor was it expected by the audience.
Unfortunately, the film falls apart in the climactic act as director Peter Andrikidis tries to rectify the fact that Kings of Mykonos has too many story arcs going on, and vainly attempts to solve them all in a limited time span. Indeed, he does just that, but not without the help of more than one application of the deu ex machina plot device, whereby an aspect of the story is quickly wrapped up by an inexplicable or highly implausible event. Simply put, it’s a big no-no in the Dummies Guide to Filmmaking.
Finally, Kings of Mykonos is by no means a film to be taken seriously. While it can be criticized for many reasons related to the technical aspects of filmmaking (dialogue, story development, etc.) its main purpose is to generate laughs. And without question, it does just that as frequently as one would expect from a film marketed as a straight-out comedy.