Chimp Cop Forever | Review by Steve Bennett at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Chimp Cop Forever

Review by Steve Bennett at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival

At their very best, the Chimp Cop team could give the Naked Gun franchise  a run for its money with the amount of silly jokes, visual gags and non sequiturs they cram into their work.

The opening gambit of Forever is a mini-masterpiece, revolving around a brilliantly unexpected joke and leading into a title sequence full of low-budget invention.

It’s a frenetic pace that the team of Adam Knox, Ben Vernel, Rosie Vernel and Timothy Clark can’t hope to sustain as they start to involve themselves in such details as plot and characters necessary to sustain this mad romp for the full hour. Still, you’re never too far from a cheery pun, contrived comic misunderstanding or preposterous premise.

The team have built a cult feel around the show, now in its third instalment, not least by their deliberately weak and unworkable idea that the lead character is a chimp – something that seems like it was conceived one drunken night and never properly thought through. The notion usually forgotten about, but occasionally it surfaces, with heavy acknowledgement that they are shackled to a ridiculous and unworkable premise.

In this story our brooding-but-dim primate crime-fighter has to go undercover as a criminal to infiltrate a gang that turns out to be lead by his own father. But don’t worry about the plot, it has more holes than a teabag. Nor are the team particularly concerned with great acting performances, it’s tongue-in-cheek melodrama all the way. 

Despite such slapdash sensibilities, the script has some wonderful moments of expectation-subverting. Some of the scenes can be self-indulgent, certainly, but they are usually undercut with a silly reveal or a killer gag in the end.

Improvements could be made – adding more tones other than irony to their palette or sharpening up the narrative and parody elements – but the fun the four are having is certainly infectious, and there are just enough brilliant zingers to get by.

Review date: 7 Apr 2017
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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