Verdict: 2.5 / 5
An incredibly cringing opening scene depicts the dreams of a fifteen-year-old John Milton aka Spud (Troye Sivan), still embarrassed by his delayed claim to ‘manhood’. But regardless of his seemingly physical misfortune, as the timid skinny boy with the angel singing voice, he manages to have not only one but two very pretty girls fight for his affection, making Spud seem more like a stud, ‘scoring’ more than Rambo(Sven Ruygrok), supposedly known for his ability to woe.
Unfortunately, most of what follows leaves one somewhat disappointed, as this sequel to the John van de Ruit based books come to life on the big screen doesn’t live up to its predecessor. The comedy feels very forced as the viewer is taken back to 1991, when South Africa was on the verge of drastic political change. This drives Spud’s mother to irrational outbursts, planning to immigrate to England, naturally upsetting Spud as he wishes to finish his scholarship, hang out with the Crazy 8 and become a professional actor. But his parent’s fears aren’t the only thing that threatens this wish. Due to last year’s shenanigans, The Glock (Jeremy Crutchley) has ordered the housemaster Sparerib (Jason Cope) to keep the boys in line. Sparerib uses the prefects to spy and help sabotage the Crazy 8 in the hopes that they will get expelled. But the gang has a plan of their own, and so evolves a slightly amusing battle that feature an array of pranks and scheming.
Meanwhile, The Guv (John Cleese) gets up to his own mischief after being offered early retirement. However, there is always one who takes it too far. Sparerib crossed the line by stealing Spud’s diary and with it he threatens his future at the school. Torn between his future and loyalty to his friends he seeks council by The Guv.
After the massive and deserved success of the first film in 2010, Spud 2 doesn’t live up to expectations. This then definitely a ‘we best stick to the books’ case. Apart from the comedy and action feeling very forced for the first half of the film, the supporting performances aren’t all up to standard. But there are nice moments, and it truly aids the progression of the film. And finally the choice of songs to form the sound track was at times unmotivated, left me wondering if it was purely to promote the band because it’s “local music”. Regardless, teenagers will enjoy this movie, and so will many others, but for those who adored the books, this one might not be your firsts choice.