BFI London Film Festival Reviews

The Breaker Upperers – BFI London Film Festival 2018 Review

New Zealand comedy has become increasingly popular over the past couple of years. That has largely been down to Taika Waititi’s gloriousness, bringing us the taste of the islands. Through films such as What We Do in the Shadows and Boy, Waititi has successfully brought the world of New Zealand to our shores without including a single hobbit.

But the countries comedic history is so much more than just Waititi. You have Peter Jackson’s comedy horrors like Bad Taste and Jonathan King’s side-splitting Black Sheep.

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Written, directed by, and starring Jackie van Beak and Madeleine Sami, The Breaker Upperers revolves around Mel and Jen, best friends who run an unusual business. It’s their job to break-up couples in many different ludicrous ways such as police offices informing that a jilted lover is missing or jealous mistresses. When an old boyfriend of Jen’s returns and a young client makes the pass at Mel, brooding issues starts to arise causing friction with the pair. Can the team solve their problems and stay as best friends?

From a great and unique premise comes a movie filled with some hilarious jokes and super one-liners. The Breaker Upperers is an entertaining comedy of oddities with some pretty surreal characters and wonderful comedic timing.

The Breaker Upperers is a riotous and darkly humorous comedy that is successful due to its leading cast. Van Beak and Sami are a brilliant on-screen duo. The pair have been knocking around Kiwi comedies for a while and it is nice to see them greatly at work in this on-point film. They work extremely well together, bouncing mirthful one-liners off one another and with style. Plus, they are completely believable as best friends. It’s the warmth of their partnership and the dry wit that make the film an accomplished film.

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Yes, for fans of Waititi, this is a definitely a must-see movie, especially because Jason Rolland’s from Boy appears. The Breaker Upperers does lag in story-telling and there are certainly bum-shuffling scenes as moments don’t land. Yet there’s a lot of heart here coupled with some truly slick humour. Hilarious yet with so much heart, the warmth and humour of this film is unmissable. Plus sliced into a programme that is drama or horror heavy, The Breaker Upperers will be a nice and enriching treat for BFI London Film Festival Goers.

The film also has the best X-Men/Vagina joke that you will ever hear. That’s a sentence that I never thought I’d write.


The Breaker Upperers plays at the BFI London Film Festival 
Buy your tickets now! 

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