Leon Schuster's latest, much-touted movie "Frank & Fearless," is obviously going to be one of the festive season's hot tickets.
If you're a fan of toilet humour and slightly outdated, over-the-top candy-flossed sentimentality, maybe this is the ticket for some largely mindless but somewhat endearing holiday entertainment. It also comes with a message of saving our endangered rhinos.
I guess there are various ways of getting that message across and there's no doubt parents and kids alike will guffaw at the jokes and be taken in at the cutesy pics of the little (animated) rhino and the shenanigans of this ageing comedian.
The man has never pretended to be anything than what he is. A man who makes people laugh and has grossed millions - no tens of millions - for appealing to a particular type of audience. Take it or leave it.
His latest shows him in the bush. The ou toppie aka seasoned actor plays railway chef, Sonny Frank. On his way to Pretoria to be interviewed for a new chef position on another train, he teams up with a 12-year-old boy, Fearless (Themba Ntuli), to kidnap the ambassador (David Dennis) of the Nambodia, a South-East Asian fictional country, in an attempt to stop rhino slaughtering.
To make it even more endearing, they are joined on their mission by two four-legged friends; Reini, a baby rhino whose mother was killed by poachers and Fearless’s faithful big black dog, called simply Dog.
The film largely (and obviously) focuses on their escapades and how things keep going badly wrong. Starting from their journey in an overloaded bus to the event where they intend to commit the deed of nabbing said ambassador.
This all leads up to the intrepid tyke and the white-haired tressed Frank faced with taking on a merciless platoon of poachers, who are led by the ranger turned poacher, Dolf (Kenneth Nkosi), with whom Frank has had a rather disagreeable past.
Themba Ntuli, the indefatigable Fearless, is also quite adorable and most engaging. Jennifer Steyn pops up as well in the bush and at the Nambodian ambassador's gig as Ruby, an American beauty, who has had a thing with Frank. She's fun.
Fearless's devoted gogo is quite a delight, played by Mary Twala and I loved Beauty, the junior ranger, played by the talented Khanyi Mbau who is wonderfully over the top.
"Fearless & Frank" premieres on Friday, and there are worse ways to spend 97 minutes...
* Frank & Fearless opens in cinemas nationwide today.