Here’s an indication of how bad the out-of-character Trailer Park Boys’ comedy Swearnet: The Movie is: the best thing about it is bottom-drawer Canadian comic Tom Green.
Green gets off some self-aware zingers — a Freddy Got Fingered gag included — with deadpan delivery that contrasts with the increasingly desperate and unfunny antics of stars Robb Wells, John Paul Tremblay and Mike Smith.
The trio seems to have left their mojo back in the Sunnyvale Trailer Park in playing versions of their real-life, post-Trailer selves seeking an unbridled life as Internet stars freed from the language-police bonds of network TV.
Trailer Park Boys creator Mike Clattenburg, who also helmed all three TPB features, has been replaced with director Warren P. Sonoda (Servitude). And that may also be part of the problem.
There is indeed a lot of swearing in Swearnet, including a supposed record-breaking 935 f-bombs. The devotion to that goal pushes aside the lovable sides of these Canadian anti-heroes, the schemers and world-class simpleton loafers we came to admire for their sublime idiocy. It’s especially true of mild-mannered, cat-rescuing Bubbles, who vanishes when Smith takes off his pop-bottle-bottom glasses to reveal a nasty screen personality.
Minus the TPB alchemy of pot, liquor and bad decisions, the comedy goes for unimaginative easy laughs. It’s all plucked from the average 12-year-old’s philosophy that everything is funny if you add f---ing as a modifier.
Onscreen, as in life, the Trailer Park Boys have been off the air for several years. (In reality, Ricky, Julian and Bubbles are back for an eighth season on Netflix Sept. 5 and yes there is an actual Swearnet subscription site.)
They’ve lost the rights to the TPB characters and are working dead-end jobs, fed up with being told what they can’t do and say by network brass when they pitch ideas. Hence Swearnet, a live-to-web stream of offensive programming from weather reports to stunts larded with so much bad language, there’s hardly room for any other words.
“Everybody f---ing swears!” they protest. They’re just giving the people what they want. It doesn’t take much to convince Pat Roach (Trailer Park Boy’s Randy) to squeeze into some spandex and play the channel’s mascot Swearman. And it’s not his fault when his suit splits, showing his dangly bits to the world.
Enter the loan shark and his diminutive sidekick, a car race, cameos by comic Carrot Top and former Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach, castrating women and sexily pneumatic gals who find the pudgy boys irresistible.
Trouble is, nobody else will.