“This is where our quest for legendary status begins, boys.”
And so it does. Spud 2: The Madness Continues is the next installment in Donovan Marsh’s adaptations of John van de Ruit’s books, and it’s very much like the last film … but bigger. Troye Sivan and John Cleese are back, along with the ragtag band of miscreants and madmen that make up the staff and pupils of Michaelhouse School.
Following once again the diary for John ‘Spud’ Milton (Sivan) – this time that of 1991 – Spud 2 is more overt in its humour than its predecessor, but that isn’t a bad thing. Sivan acquits himself admirably, really making it seem as though the films are just six weeks apart, not three years. Cleese once again lives up to expectations as ‘The Guv’, one of the more rebellious teachers and Spud’s particular guardian. It could, though be said that he deserves more screen-time, his performance being as incredibly funny as it is.
However, there are three characters that really make the film a special occurrence. Those are Mr Glockenshpeel ‘The Glock’ (Jeremy Crutchley) and Mr Wilson ‘Sparerib’ (Jason Cope). The two teachers form a grotesque double-act against the students, one which is not without its problems, as the two spend most of the film arguing. However, it must be said that the performance which steals the show is that of Sven Ruygrok as Robert ‘Rambo’ Black, the self-appointed leader of Spud’s dormitory. Ruygrok’s performance has matured since the last film (despite the fact that his co-stars have shot past him in the height stakes), and he makes a very convincing anti-hero with his dark, brooding good looks.
Put the whole package together with a hot-dog-eating competition, a disastrous house play and some excellent music by Ed Jordan, and you have a really first-class film.
Here’s to Spud 3: Learning To Fly!
Writer/Director: Donovan Marsh
Producer: Ross Garland
Starring: Troye Sivan, John Cleese