Reckless Kelly (1993) — The Australian Robin Hood

“Legally, Hollywood police can’t shoot actors.”

Justin’s rating: This movie is brought to you by the wonder of GUNS!

Justin’s review: If Yahoo Serious is remembered for anything today, it’s for an astonishingly quick rise and fall in the cinematic world. He had a surprise smash hit with 1988’s Young Einstein, failed to set the world on fire with his follow-up in Reckless Kelly in 1993, and finally completely fizzled out with 2000’s Mr. Accident. That’s… that’s pretty much it from the oeuvre of Yahoo Serious (which, admittedly, is three more movies than I’ve made).

Even the Simpsons famously took a crack at him back in the ’90s:

Yet in the years since his fall, Reckless Kelly has cultivated fans outside of its native Australia (where, it should be said, people loved this movie). I thought it was worth a watch, at the very least, because a guy in makeshift armor riding a motorcycle will either entertain you with exploits or a spectacular highway crash.

Yahoo Serious — sorry, I just love writing his full name — plays Ned Kelly, the latest and only current member of the “Kelly Gang,” a Robin Hood-like group of outlaws that rob banks to give money to the poor. He does so with the Millennium Falcon of motorcycles, supremely skilled pistol shooting skills, and a lack of fear about being shot himself. But there’s always room for improvement, which is why he eventually cobbles together a suit of bulletproof armor.

Understandably, Ned’s robbery spree cheeses off the banks, leading international bank manager Hugo Weaving to plot to buy the Kelly family’s island out from under them. This will not stand for the Kelly gang, but since the family has sworn to never rob Aussies for their own needs, Ned decides to fly to America and rob banks there. But that proves much more difficult, what with sperm banks and cash-less banks, so Ned falls into the Hollywood acting scene instead.

There he agrees to shoot the movie “Christian Cowboy” to earn a million bucks, all while avoiding a team off assassin accountants and putting the moves on (pause) Robin Banks, who is played by pre-Office Melora Hardin. It’s really surreal to see Jan show up reading Shakespeare and acting as a nun, but that’s Hollywood for you.

Reckless Kelly ended up being so much more fun than I first assumed. Say what you will about his fall into obscurity, but Yahoo Serious (Yahoo Serious) has a likable charisma about him that makes for a fun hour-and-a-half. The bizarre, cartoonish humor embraces the farcical plot, although it does undercut some of the satirical barbs that the movie is trying to wing against Americans and their love of guns.

I just wish that the whole plot about starring in the movie wouldn’t have derailed Ned Kelly as a bank robber, because that part was far more interesting. Still, seeing Hugo Weaving being more evil than Agent Smith and everyone getting into the wacky spirit of things kept me grinning the whole time. There’s very little that this movie won’t do to make you laugh with its slapstick gags, and I respect that. So maybe we should give Serious, Yahoo Serious a break and celebrate a two-fisted romp full of koalas, puns, puritans, screaming ATMs, talking dogs, and the scariest motorbike in the world.

Didja notice?

  • By law, Aussie movies have to start with a didgeridoo
  • Snoring kangaroos
  • That’s a lot of beer cans
  • Shooting flies is effective
  • ATMs can say “ouch” when shot
  • The cop with the Hitler moustache
  • You can develop a “natural tolerance” to being shot
  • Getting a letter at this hotel is a Big Deal
  • The slab of rock as an old birth certificate
  • Yeah, I’d laugh at that armor too
  • I guess this was back when nobody had a problem with you carrying and cleaning guns on a plane
  • Also chickens in cages
  • “Nice pair of dolphins!”
  • He… brought the motorcycle on the plane? And his armor?
  • Kelly going wrong-way down the street
  • Did the bike fart?
  • Baby doll head bra
  • He’s a puritan Catholic priest cowboy?
  • Um… maybe don’t shoot the Bible?
  • About time this movie had a battering ram
  • Talking to your dog on a gun phone. Sure.
  • “Look! The bullets hit the cross!” *angelic music*
  • You can move islands

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