Although they’ve become ubiquitous Can-con icons who have several times before threatened to walk away from their drug addled alter egos, the dudes in The Trailer Park Boys prove there’s still plenty of silliness, swish, and piss left in the tank for their third big screen outing, Don’t Legalize It. Picking up where the series left off instead of where the second, somewhat disappointing feature left off, the film proves that re-upping for another season of shenanigans at the Sunnyvale Trailer Park isn’t such a bad idea after all. As the old saying goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” and the boys and frequent director and collaborator Mike Clattenburg don’t go out of the way to mess with the ganja clouded and rum soaked playbook the series established so well.
The boys are once again more or less broke, but Ricky (Robb Wells) and Julian (John Paul Tremblay) are doing their best to get back in the black. Julian has been bootlegging pilfered urine from a military base (so people can pass drug tests) and plans on selling it to a Montreal connection at a premium. Ricky isn’t speaking to Julian very much, and he’s back on top of the Halifax dope game. Once again the even more alcoholic Lahey (John Dunsworth) and his partner Randy (Patrick Roach) want to see Ricky suffer despite his moving from Sunnyvale to a new subdivision. Ricky gets dismayed when he notices a push in Ottawa to legalize weed, effectively killing his profits. Bubbles (Mike Smith) has been getting drunk all day and living with J-Roc (Jonathan Torrens), and he gets pulled into the lives of his old friends with Julian wanting his help to move the piss and Ricky begging him to stay clear of Julian’s idiocy.
It ain’t much to look at and there’s not much being done here that the boys didn’t already cover in their first seven seasons, two previous movies, and however many specials and stand up shows they’ve done, but they are getting right the important things that make the show special. The chemistry between the leads hasn’t lost a beat, and despite a somewhat wonky narrative that peters out about twenty minutes before the film actually ends everyone thankfully has something to do instead of sitting around and waiting for their turn to be funny as part of a unit. Julian and Ricky’s storylines never come together in a really satisfying way, but they also aren’t supposed to. Neither has a real interest in what the other is doing, and it’s a testament to their teamwork as comics that there’s so little overlap but still a great deal of interest.
The film also very wisely brings back the sense of melancholy that the series dabbled in for some of its best episodes. Opening with the dreary looking funeral for Ricky’s dad makes it known that things haven’t been happy in the park for quite some times, and watching Bubbles pretty much go through an aimless sort of hell without his friends is kind of heartbreaking for fans and followers to watch.
It should probably go without saying that Don’t Legalize It will appeal almost exclusively to fans of the boys and will hold precious little appeal to anyone else. It’s certainly not a starting point for anyone unfamiliar with these characters and nothing will be explained for those not in the loop. At least you can’t say they don’t understand their audience. It’s pure fan service, but it’s well done fan service.
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