Puckoon review

"'I don't mind dying, I just don't want to be there when it happens'." Ex-Goon Spike Milligan's skewed humour is part of British comic history. His novel Puckoon, meanwhile - - an irreverent look at the partition set up between Northern Ireland and the Republic, dividing the fictional titular town in two - - was a critical and commercial hit. Sadly, this film adaptation will be neither.

The absurd notion of setting random country borders is fertile satirical ground, but whenever a decent Milligan gag threatens to take root, it's immediately trampled on by a barrage of clichés and an irritating insistence on `comedy' sound effects. The entire cast (including Elliott Gould, Richard Attenborough and John Lynch) runs about mugging frantically, until someone's cry of "'Where's it all going to end?"' pretty much sums things up.

One for die-hard Milligan fans only, then. As for everyone else? Well, you probably won't mind your local cinema showing Puckoon - - you just won't want to be there when it happens.

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