Two teenage boys travel 160km on stolen bicycles in the hunt for a €7million bale of cocaine that fell from a ship as part of Ireland’s €440million drug seizure – the biggest in the country’s history.
Best friends Connor (Alex Murphy) and Jock (Chris Walley) are two fifteen year olds from inner city Cork who dress the same and act the same – the pair are inseparable. Jock is a legendary bike thief who enters into a daily game of cat and mouse with the obsessive Garda Sergeant Healy (Dominic MacHale). When a drug trafficking boat capsizes of the west coast of Cork, 61 bales of cocaine, worth €7million each, go missing, but only 60 are recovered. The lads embark on a quest to find the missing bale, which they hope will hold the answers to their troubled home lives, on a couple of stolen bikes. What could go wrong?
By now, you’ll all hopefully be quite familiar with the fact that I’m a sucker for an Irish film. The Young Offenders is a film I set about watching the other night after discovering it on Netflix – what a treat it was to watch. This was a film that was very, very funny in places, but also one that had a good heart at the centre of it all. I wouldn’t imagine it would be quite everyone’s cup of tea, but wasn’t it mine!
I completely enjoyed the two lead performances. Alex Murphy and Chris Walley worked brilliantly together, and really captured what I’d imagine some of my family were like at their age. Some of the dialogue that was exchanged between the two characters was phenomenal. However, the best thing abut both of their characters for me was the gormless look they possessed for probably half the film. Both made me laugh tremendous amounts throughout the course of the film.
Of course, the script was also responsible for a number of the giggles I was guilty of whilst watching this. There were some fine examples of the sorts of soundbites you can expect to hear if you ever take a trip to Ireland. One of my favourites came from a scene in a cafe shared by Walley and Dominic MacHale, and I’m sure everyone else of Irish descent will agree with me that it was a beautiful moment that unfolded between the two character thanks to the dialogue they were gifted with.
I’m eager to find out how much of the film is actually based on real events. Obviously the drug seizure happened, I know that much, but I would love to know whether or not the pilgrimage that would make the Mexican drug cartels envious took place in some form or another. It feels to me very much like the plot of a film I recently reviewed called Catch Me If You Can – I don’t really think you could make this sort of thing up. There are definitely elements of it that have been granted artistic license I would say, but there surely has to be truth in about three-quarters of the film?
Overall, The Young Offenders is a film I completely enjoyed. It’s an easy watch with plenty of wonderfully comedic lines delivered to us by a couple of actors who I personally believe could be ones to watch for the future. I don’t know whether they’ll ever be Oscar winners, but Murphy and Walley absolutely proved they had the chops for comedy here, and I can see them taking roles in a few Brendan Gleeson-style films in years to come. The story is so ridiculous some of it had to be true, and the cherry on top is cinematography that captures plenty of rural Ireland. I won’t say that this will be a film that pleases all, but people like myself with green blood flowing through their veins will be fans, I’m sure.