Stephen Curry as Teddy and Brendan Cowell as Rick. Click on the 'Play' button above to watch the trailer for Save Your Legs.
February 25, 2013
(Republished July 15, 2013)
Praise Vishnu for the endlessly convivial Stephen Curry. He manages to put a few runs on the board for the Aussie cricket flick Save Your Legs, elevating Boyd Hicklin's spritely if not particularly funny flick to the realm of 'watchable.' Sadly, I struggle to think of any other elements that warrant commendation. The Indian setting is quite lovely to look at, I suppose, and Darren Gilshenan is appealing as a dorky statistician. Otherwise, its 92 minute running time feels a little like the long walk back to the dugout.
Curry stars as Teddy, a thirty-something cricket fanatic living in the pool house of his arrogant buddy Stav (Damon Gameau). Along with party animal Rick (Brendan Cowell), they make up the driving force of the Abbotsford Anglers, a D-grade club that is starting to tear at the seams now that real-life responsibilities are taking precedence. Down but not out, Teddy appeals to sporting goods store manager Sanjeet (Darshan Jariwala) to fund the Anglers' first international tour. He agrees, and the 11-member squad gets to briefly flirt with fame - if not quite fortune - in South Asia, where the food is spicy and the culture is ca-razy. Cue a barrage of diarrhoea jokes.
The picture is based on Hicklin's 2005 documentary of the same name, which detailed a small cricket team's embarrassing trip abroad. It's a fertile tale for "underdog movie" material. Oddly, the screenplay - penned by Cowell in the same lackadaisical manner of his performance - avoids the expected tropes of the genre. Still, he succumbs to a bunch of other, less entertaining clichés from the endless barrage of "manchild" movies we've had to endure from every era of cinema (the lineage from the Lumière brothers to the Wayans brothers is there if you look for it).
There are only three major cricket sequences, which is unforgivable in itself. The climactic sequence involves a showdown with a bunch of Bollywood stars, and isn't at all related to the championship the Anglers' have spent much of the movie aspiring towards. Then, there's a big dance number, because India. It's a stunningly evasive script, and never really humourous enough to forgive it for its sins. At least Curry's awkward, amiable Teddy is pleasant to spend time with, particularly as he attempts to charm Sanjeet's daughter Anjali (Pallavi Sharda). Besides that, it's a bunt.
Save Your Legs is available on Quickflix from July 17, 2013.