Ronnie (Joe Mullaney) and Will (Vincent Friell) are two free-wheeling lads living on a housing estate in Edinburgh. Broke and bored, the two decide to politely rob coachloads of tourists travelling through the Highlands for a bit of cash. Donning a wolf and a clown mash and armed with a puffer gun shooting out curry powder, the duo soon become a hit with the tourists and the public alike. As the two follow in the great tradition of Robin Hood and Rob Roy, their exploits make them a tourist attraction bigger than the Loch Ness monster. But not everyone is a fan - the local police are closing in on them assisted by a vacationing CIA agent. Featuring an infectious soundtrack by Big Country and some stunning Highlands scenery, this much-loved and, until now, much-missed film is a thoroughly enjoyable gem.
The lighter side of Trainspotting
- Restless Natives review by AM
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You rated this film: 4
Like most Scots, especially those from Edinburgh, I've a soft spot for Trainspotting, and also the earlier Danny Boyle film Shallow Grave. They have a lot going for them. Young actors (Eccleston, McGregor, Kerry Fox, Robert Carlyle) on the cusp of bright careers, a director (Danny Boyle) and screen writer (John Hodge) also with huge things ahead of them. Restless Natives have none of these. A couple of the actors went on to BBC sitcoms, or to sell washing up liquid - that was their limit and it shows. But it's hard not to sit Restless Natives, made over a decade before, alongside Shallow Grave and Trainspotting. It shares so much in common. It could be seen as blazing a trail - they share the same energy and enthusiasm. While the soundtrack is great, reminding me that Big Country were actually pretty good.
While Trainspotting was a lovingly accurate early 80's period piece, Restless Natives is accurately early 80's because that's when it was made. From the early shots of Adidas Sambas, it delivers. The script is entertainingly daft - take Trainspotting and swap the heroin for Robin Hood.
It's hokum, but it's great hokum, made by a cast having the time of their lives (and in retrospect, they high point of their careers).