Wog Boys Forever (2022) is forever stuck in the past… it’s time to move on

The real OG when it comes to wog comedy, Nick Giannopoulos, is back to round out his Wog Boy trilogy with the arrival of Wog Boys Forever. Still single and working as a taxi driver, Steve Karamitsis (Nick Giannopoulos) sets his sights on love, while in the middle of another battle with the Beagle-Thorpe family.

For some background – I’m a fan of Nick Giannopoulos’ wog comedy, especially his earlier projects around the time of Acropolis Now (1989-92), a true clashick (in the words of Effie Stephanidis). I also get a good kick out of The Wog Boy (2000) and The Kings of Mykonos (2010). Despite being cheesy and occasionally dated, they’re a lot of fun for their inventive narratives and relatable jokes. In saying all of that, Wog Boys Forever just didn’t do it for me. Nick Giannopoulos’ comedy still has that same cheesy approach, but it’s stuck in the 90s, almost as if it’s recycling the same ‘wog humour’ we’ve heard time and time again. They say you can’t teach an old wog new tricks, and in the case of Wog Boys Forever, they’re right.

This is the first time I’ve felt Giannopoulos’ writing to be very dry and uninspired. I recognise through interviews and articles that he put a lot of passion into this project, but it just doesn’t come across on screen. It feels like this film is stuck in the past, right down to the central narrative relying on a character connection to the original film. For the majority of this movie, the writing was poor and at times hard to watch. Much of Giannopoulos’ humour felt forced, predictable or unnatural, leading to plenty of moments that just didn’t hit how they were intended to. I’m not enjoying taking this stance, since I was rooting for it to succeed. I’m just disappointed that it didn’t end up as funny and enjoyable as I hoped it would be.

That’s not to say it’s all bad. There are some moments where Giannopoulos’ writing shines. He has a couple of good quips of his own that get a little chuckle, but the funniest content is reserved for the new additions to the trilogy. Namely, Sooshi Mango ended up being the strongest part of the film. Almost every single moment involving Vince (Carlo Salanitri), Guiseppina (Joe Salanitri) and Pino (Andrew Manfre) worked a treat. Their energy and over-exaggerated characters delivered the biggest laughs, providing some much-needed contrast to the at-times more down-to-earth narrative. It also shouldn’t be a surprise, considering their comedy is selling out stadiums both in and out of Australia.

I want to highlight Sarah Roberts, who definitely puts in the best performance of the film. She’s funny and charming when she needs to be, while also getting deep into that more emotional side when the story calls for it. Her vibrance lights up the screen, while on the other hand the more seasoned Nick Giannopoulos and Vince Colosimo struggle to find that charismatic edge. I really think the bulk of the humour not being as strong comes down to their energy, at least in part. When you look at older clips from the previous films, the humour fits the era and their characters’ ages. There’s a more free-flowing nature to the comedy, and it all feels quite fresh and original. Whereas in this film, it looks a bit more like a 75 year-old Robert De Niro trying to convincingly beat up a man in The Irishman (2019).

In the end, Wog Boys Forever ends up being quite the disappointment. Giannopoulos’ once-hilarious writing and comedic style feels more dated now than ever, only hitting successful comedic beats a handful of times. Sooshi Mango’s energetic characters breathe life into the film with solid jokes throughout, and Sarah Roberts’ performance an extra layer to the story, but it’s not enough. It’s fine for a bit of lighthearted wog comedy, but to be honest, you’re better off going back and watching the first two films again or checking out Acropolis Now for some real quality.



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