Max And Paddy's Road To Nowhere

Max And Paddy's Road To Nowhere


Reviewed by: Paz Newis

This compendium of the first series of Max And Paddy's Road To Nowhere brings together the six episodes of this road movie spin off from Peter Kay's earlier opus, Phoenix Nights. I had only previously caught a couple of epps and so eagerly inserted the disc. It doesn't disappoint.

Firstly, there's the genesis of the story, the catalyst character Gypsy Joe, the dodgy acquisition of a plasma screen for the camper van/motor home and the obvious sordid use it gets put to. Next comes a bit of character development as we hear about Max's literary ambitions, with his own illustrations (in the mixed media of felt tip, wax crayon and biro by the look of it), and some backstory in the diminutive form of Tina, the lost love of Max's former life.

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Watching the series back to back - it's quite hard not to say, "Yeah I'll just watch the next one..." - gives a better handle on the overall story arc, which ties the series together, and makes for a more movie-length experience, all presented in classic British sitcom format. Episode three, at a school chums' reunion, we meet Tina and her hubby and a secret from the past.

Again, the story continues to a cliffhanger, or cliff jump over, as the subsequent instalment sees our heroes doing time, with Sir Cliff, no less. The campaign to Free The Phoenix Two is spearheaded by none other than Potter, the wheelchair using owner of the Phoenix, a cross over episode with lots of characters from the earlier series making appearances. Five is an almost formulaic pig in a poke story, but very funny for all that and the finale is a treat, featuring a psycho from Max's past with some issues to resolve.

This summary does not do justice to Patrick McGuinness, who co-wrote the show, and is stellar as doorman Paddy. The chat up lines at the disco are gems, as are all the knob gags and toilet humour. This isn't rocket science, but neither should it be. It is well-crafted set-up-and-punchline comedy. The two central characters are great and their interaction is the mainspring that drives the plot. All this is assisted by a terrific supporting cast, featuring Noddy Holder and a host of UK comedy regulars.

Reviewed on: 09 Oct 2005
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Phoenix Nights spin-off about two pals and their camper van adventures.
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Read more Max And Paddy's Road To Nowhere reviews:

Stephen Carty ***

Director: Peter Kay

Writer: Peter Kay, Patrick McGuinness

Starring: Peter Kay, Patrick McGuinness, Lisa Hammond, Craig Cheetham, Tony Mooney, Steve Edge, Toby Foster, Noddy Holder

Year: 2004

Runtime: 144 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: UK


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