Bunny & the Bull

By the standards of British comic films, ‘Bunny & the Bull’ is formally adventurous, thematically conventional and emotionally tending towards the inert. Just as problematically, it’s not very funny. Bringing together elements of buddy flick, road movie and romance, its story follows meek, self-conscious Stephen (Edward Hogg) and his brash, hard-living pal Bunny (Simon Farnaby) on a ramshackle European tour, with Spanish waitress Eloisa (Veronica Echegui) tagging along for the ride. Their escapades are recalled from the interior of Stephen’s flat, which he hasn’t left in the year since the trip ended, and where he keeps everything from shower caps to urine neatly archived.

Director Paul King is a longtime collaborator of comedy duo The Mighty Boosh, whose TV series and live tours he directed (and who have characteristically outré cameos here). Like ‘Boosh’, ‘Bunny & the Bull’ revels in a playfully expressionistic milieu of stylised settings and handmade effects, realised here through various kinds of animation that bring Michel Gondry to mind; a clockwork fairground and cutlery-derived bull stand out, as does the desk-based credit sequence. The film’s action also elides the distinctions between reality, memory and delusion in an impressively sustained manner more familiar to stage than screen.

Much to appreciate, then, but less to enjoy. Bunny and Stephen remain largely if differently unsympathetic during their Withnail-esque travels and travails, and there’s little sense of passion in the latter’s tentative romance with Eloisa. Like him, the movie remains mired in a mood of frustration and mopiness that works against both emotional engagement and big laughs, however consistently tickling the picture’s narrative schema and production design might be.

Release details

Rated: 15
Release date: Friday November 27 2009
Duration: 101 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Paul King
Screenwriter: Paul King
Cast: Edward Hogg
Simon Farnaby
Noel Fielding
Julian Barratt

Average User Rating

5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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MM

Very poor indeed. An unfunny self-satisfied script leaves the performers floundering, and the twee (over)design and post-production is boringly derivative of Jeunet & Caro.

Zoe Stephens

The reviewer is entirely misrepresenting this film. It's fantastically creative, often feeling more like a play than a film. The set is amazing and it's both funny and heartbreaking at the same time. It's absolutely fantastic and DEFINITELY worth a watch!!

Zoe Stephens

The reviewer is entirely misrepresenting this film. It's fantastically creative, often feeling more like a play than a film. The set is amazing and it's both funny and heartbreaking at the same time. It's absolutely fantastic and DEFINITELY worth a watch!!