Review by Lisa Keddie
OH, JESUS, Mary and Joseph, how the Irish must cringe into their pints of Guinness, each time a film crew with a romantic notion of their fair Emerald Isle portrays them in a film.
If it’s not the appalling accents, it’s the overkill of local village idiocy, which goes and ruins a potentially jolly caper.
Rumour has it, the Irish Film Board wanted nothing to do with this wanton ad for Viagra, which speaks volumes for a folk normally the most open-minded and spirited of the lot of us – and quick to self-mock.
Holy Water drowns you in one Irish cliché after Irish cliché until you can’t breathe, desperate for you to love it (because it’s set in quirky little Ireland), as much as its oddball group of characters.
Sadly, there’s just not enough of the ‘luck of the Irish’ or Gaelic charm to truly win you over, even though the concept of a small, unsuspected village ‘high’ on Viagra from their local contaminated water supply – thanks to a local gang’s heist c*ck-up, is a great one to explore, and given a superior script and better direction could have been a riotous winner.
Admittedly, the sexual innuendos get a couple of naughty giggles, as does the Benny-Hill-style, bare-bottom farce, but it’s more out of sheer embarrassment at what you’re watching, like some kind of bad, late ’70s comedy, rather than because it’s actually funny.
The most ‘hilarious’ part of the whole film – as the thieving eg*ts that steal the blue tablet loot are fairly forgettable – is Terminator’s Linda Hamilton, complete with mean, no-nonsense Sarah Connor stance, thundering through the rural lanes in an blacked-out FBI super truck, trying to piece together the clues to find her villains, without much help from a) her sexed-up, Viagra-induced team, b) the local, Viagra-ready Garda.
What was she (or her agent) thinking? There isn’t even the usual delight to snigger at the fish-out-of-water Yanks as they completely miss the local plot. You are almost glad for the saving grace of a bit of an Irish gig and ‘fiddly, diddly music’, if only to put a real smile on your face.
Something must have been slipped into the film-makers’ water if they thought the end result could pass as remotely funny because the Viagra just doesn’t work, here, to turn this into a sturdy specimen of cinematic craftsmanship, rather than a disappointing flop. As the rather genius tagline says: Time for a stiff drink…
Running time: 93mins
UK DVD Release: May 31, 2010