It starts with a fart gag during the title sequence. It ends with a volley of fart gags. In between there are several more fart gags, jokes about willies and vaginas, jokes about how disgusting old people are, and jokes about gay and transgender people. If you thought 2011’s A Few Best Men scraped the barrel bottom for crass attempts to set Carry-On style humour in an Australian context, you haven’t seen the sequel.
We begin exactly where the first film left off six years ago, at the conclusion of the Blue Mountains wedding of long-suffering Englishman David (Xavier Samuel), where his compatriots, the horny Tom (Kris Marshall) and the accident-prone Graham (Kevin Bishop) have just created havoc; then a third friend, the binge-drinking Luke (James Helm), tumbles off into the Megalong Valley and dies. The survivors board a private jet to take his body back to London, which crashes, stranding them in the West Australian desert with the corpse in tow.
Their subsequent odyssey takes in a Burning-Man style festival featuring nubile and compliant women, a makeshift coffin shaped like a golden penis, and a septuagenarian nymphomaniac (Lynette Curran, a bright spot in dreary material). Deborah Mailman has a wasted walk-on as a dismissive outback cop and Shane Jacobson fails to convince as a Norman Bates variant, but Darren Gilshenan almost gets a couple of laughs as a lift-offering ute driver whose slow pace of life resembles the sloths of Zootopia.
It’s a tribute to the tenacity, if not the talent, of A Few Best Men’s screenwriter Dean Craig that his universally derided film has given flatulent birth to a stinking sequel, although director Stephan ‘Priscilla’ Elliott has demurred at returning and handed the sticky reins to Mark Lamprell (My Mother Frank, Goddess). It’s hard to say which is less funny: Craig’s vision of Australia as a nation of nutjob hicks, or his sniggering, Benny Hill-style portrayal of British manhood. Either way, watching this gives new meaning the phrase 'cultural cringe'.