Review: We Watched Nix Nic Nooley And Think It's The Best Thing Since Doped Youth

23 Apr 2015 0 Share

Mike Jennings

Senior Writer

"Fun isn't forever", Nix Nic Nooley brings it in spades for 2015.

"Fun isn't forever", Nix Nic Nooley brings it in spades for 2015.

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The year is 2879 and everyone from the world as we know it in 2015 is dead. Dead. The ocean has dried and the only way for the people of 2879 to go surfing is to use time travel. We’re told this in the opening seconds of Nix Nic Nooley by a narrator parodying dystopian films past, and already this surf film from the minds of filmmaker Toby Cregan and surf-star Creed Mctaggart is brilliant. It’s been 30 seconds and already we’re on board with this ridiculous and fantastic premise for a surfing movie. And then Creed McTaggart and Byron surfer Duncan McNicol appear on screen playing two of the only futuristic people still interested in surfing, complete with surfboards and sunglasses made of tin-foil, because everything futuristic is of course made of tin-foil.

“Should we surf time-travel?” Creed’s character asks.

“Yeah! I’m pretty keen to surf time-travel,” replies Duncan’s character. And away we go, diving head-first into our new favourite surf movie, straight into a shared section of Creed and Duncan. It’s a buddy film, like Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, or Wayne’s World, or Dumb and Dumber, or Flight of The Conchords, or The Mighty Boosh. But this time in surfing!

The acting sequences are hilarious and filled with the sort of dialogue that surfers of past generations were gifted to repeat from films like Doped Youth, Mad Wax and Kong’s Island. The comedy is lighthearted, stupid, and on point. They take ownership of the shade thrown at them from the Internet, and laugh about it. Beau Foster, oft ridiculed online as looking like an attractive girl (’cause that’s an insult?), dresses in drag and plays the local babe who catches the eye of Creed. “Dude, that’s Beaueena, I heard she rips,” says Duncan McNicol as a prelude to Beau’s section.

Ellis Ericson as a ranting retro-addled shaper who takes history and surfboards far too seriously, shaping a fence post no less, is a highlight point of the movie. “I don’t like labels, and people talking and noises that people make, and labels that come with that. I’m just a sculptor and I see wood and I see a shape inside and I have to bring it out, I freak out,” he bumbles to future Creed, “and yeah… I’m the retro/shaper/surfer/soul guy.” Before again launching into a rant about the Bronzed Ausses and an Ellis surf-section that with the piss already taken out of the guy, the audience is free to enjoy. It is only surfing after all.

But if you want bad acting and comedy, there are endless opportunities for that online. The surfing has to hit the mark. As does the editing, the music, all the things that make a regular surf film any good. And they do. This is a surfing movie with surfing at its core. Creed is killing it with a groundbreaking aerial game, well rounded on-rail surfing in West Oz power, and of course, supreme barrel-riding. The surfing of Duncan, Ellis, Thom Pringle, and cameos of Noa Deane, Jay Davies and Dion Agius to legendary 90s Australian indie lifts the film beyond legitimate. Though, between the fundamentally excellent surfing are the unique surf-moments that live longest in memory. The paddling-barrel rolls, the ridiculous kick outs, the sit down barrels… the kind of silly take on surfing that captures your imagination as a grommet. Like Taj Burrow’s Bumbat Challenge in Sabotaj, or the rolling onto dry reef of Ozzie Wright in Doped Youth. These are the moments that punctuate a good surfing section and give you something to remember. It’s just so loveable.

Endlessly quotable and a joy to rewatch, Nix Nic Nooley finally gives the modern era a movie worthy of being its cult classic. Like any cult film, many will hate it but for so many grommets and adult-grommets alike, it will be their favourite surf-movie of all-time. “Nix Nic Nooley” means let’s go surfing in the futuristic language of 2847. We’re already writing it on our school desks and pencil cases.

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Tags: review , toby cregan , creed mctaggart , nix nic nooley (create Alert from these tags)

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