By Andrew Swan
Eight years ago Canadians were invited to follow the lives and antics of three endearing Nova Scotians trying to make it big through unconventional means. In many ways, the fascinating trio of Ricky (Robb Wells), Julian (John Paul Tremblay) and Bubbles (Mike Smith) succeeded in their schemes, but more often than not their plans fell through ungracefully.
After eight years and numerous attempts at success, the boys try to make it work once again through another poorly thought out coup de grace in the latest — and final — iteration of the cult franchise: Trailer Park Boys: Countdown to Liquor Day.
Countdown picks up almost immediately following the final episode of the television series, “Say Goodnight to the Bad Guys.” Returning to great traditional form, Ricky and Julian are released from jail after convincing the parole board to let them go. In standard Trailer Park Boys-style, the boys instantaneously begin to scheme, leading into the action. Naturally, hilarity accompanies their incredibly bold actions, obviously the mainstay of attraction to the series.
However, bearing in mind that Countdown to Liquor Day is supposed to be the final act in the eight-year-long odyssey, the film lacks some of the definitive qualities that attracted so many to its heroes’ journey. The plot feels contrived at times, in opposition to the natural feel of the television series’ earlier seasons.
Some of the notable regulars behave differently, an evolution of the previously familiar characterization which doesn’t gel with the overall feel of the film.
These inconsistencies take away slightly from what is supposed to be the triumphant finale of the much beloved series. However, despite these minor flaws, the film works amazingly well as an homage to the Boys’ flippant and often destructive behaviours of seasons past. Fans of the rambuncitous Dartmouth natives will leave the theatre with an intense desire for more, while newcomers to the scene will have entered far too late to grasp the unerring beauty of the Trailer Park Boys in its entirety.
Either way, the final “Big Dirty” experience in Trailer Park Boys: Countdown to Liquor Day is one that should not be missed by longtime fans of the series — just be sure to knock back a rum and coke or two.