The Young Offenders

Cork-born teenager Conor MacSweeney (Alex Murphy) and his best friend Jock (Chris Walley) are a classic little-and-large double act, the disparity in their heights made even more comical by the way they sport near-identical tracksuits, close-shaved haircuts and bumfluff moustaches. Bored with their regular routines of working, in Conor’s case, at the fish stall run by his single mother Mairead (Hilary Rose) and, in Jock’s case, stealing bicycles, they decide to embark on an adventure. Hearing that a €7m bale of cocaine has gone missing on the coast of Kerry, they set off on a treasure hunt, pursued by a garda (Dominic MacHale) determined to bring the bike-pilfering Jock to justice.

As broad and brassy Irish comedies go (there have been quite a few of them lately), this one is reasonably palatable, striking a workable balance between knockabout slapstick, backchat, and proper storytelling and characterisation. The young leads’ crisp comic timing is another plus, though the whole package is hardly original and a notch less funny than seems to think it is.

Leslie Felperin The Guardian

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