Bula Quo! is a fictional feature length film about British rock and roll band Status Quo who, when on tour in Fiji, find themselves fighting for their lives having been caught up in a gangland murder operation in which they are prime suspects. Seriously. This is a real film. Oh and guess what, there’s already been a sequel announced.
Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt have been in the entertainment industry for an incredible 50 years, however there is nothing that can prepare them for their upcoming tour of Fiji, as they are scheduled to perform to thousands of adoring fans. With their publicity and security assistants Simon (Craig Fairbrass) and Caroline (Laura Aikman) running around after them like headless chickens, there is little anybody can do to prevent the ageing pair witnessing a callous murder, at the hands of local crime-lord Wilson (Jon Lovitz). With the law enforcement suspecting it’s the band behind the murders, and Wilson chasing the two witnesses to his crime, Francis and Rick must do all they can to continue with their sold-out tour, while trying to stay alive in the meantime.
Though Stuart St. Paul’s Bula Quo! is absolute nonsense of the highest order, and the story doesn’t take itself seriously at all – sadly the greatest shortcoming within this title, is that the band actually do. Considering this picture is attempting to be humorous, the one place where comedy could actually be found is within the band poking fun at themselves. Take the television series Extras for instance, it has rejuvenated the careers of a handful of has-been celebrities, who are merited with having the sense of humour to laugh at themselves and at the more fickle, pathetic aspects to their profession. However in Bula Quo!, the duo continuously make a point of alluding to their sold-out shows and how everywhere they go the worldwide press won’t leave them alone, seeming oddly intrigued with this tour, and how their fans swarm around them at any given opportunity. It’s self-indulgent to say the least.
Much of the supposed humour goes down like a complete lead balloon in this film. It’s knowingly vying for cult status, not really aiming to be anything more than a B-movie, but that shouldn’t really excuse it. Sadly the comedy caper genre just doesn’t feel quite so contemporary, and though the occasional worthy effort can be an endearing blast from the past, this particular offering needs to go back from whence it came.
Needless to say, the cast look as though they had great fun making this movie (a nice holiday to Fiji included, of course), and there is no denying that Status Quo seem like terribly friendly chaps. However this isn’t enough to prevent it from being a poor excuse for a film, where, somehow, the acting is the least of its troubles. In fact, Lovitz doesn’t do a terrible job at playing a sinister villain, as his offbeat persona adds a touch of unpredictability to his role. Meanwhile Aikman does a quite astounding exasperated facial expression, one that is matched only by the audience watching.
When Bula Quo! comes to a timely ending, you are left to ponder what on earth has just occurred, not helped by the distinct lack of direction in the film’s ending, as it just sort of finishes rather abruptly. For a film that is immensely immoderate and over the top, the finale is played down an incredible amount. Alas, nothing associated with this film truly makes any sense at all, and while Status Quo are rocking all over the world, we’re left to hope they haven’t booked a return flight home.