He is the Mr Bean of South Africa. When it comes to slapstick, comedian-actor Leon Schuster is known for mining the fabric of our culture to craft some of the most amusing shenanigans ever captured on celluloid.
However, Mr Bones 2, a prequel to Mr Bones, is done in by a weak, run-of-the-mill script that is further marred by an overdose of unimaginative stereotyping, Schuster's trademark toilet humour that is milked ad nauseam and idiocy that gets carte blanche.
At the risk of antagonising zealous Schuster fans, I need to point out that I revelled in the undemanding silliness of his last two films.
With Durban as the backdrop, the largely Indian cast features Meren Naidoo (Kerrit) and Keith Gendadoo (Eyepatch) in typecast roles and Schuster's lucky mascot, Alfred Ntombela, is relegated to a second-fiddle role as a cop.
Mr Bones 2 opens in 1879 in Kuvukiland, which is overrun by British Redcoat soldiers.
While future King Hekule (Chirisa) enjoys his wedding day, the celebratory mood is ruined by the arrival of a dying Kunji Balanadin (Naidoo), a cook for the soldiers, who presents him with a stolen gemstone.
Not long after this Hekule is possessed by the impish spirit of the cook and it is up to Bones (Schuster) to save the potential royal.
In an abortive sci-fi twist, Hekule and Bones soon find themselves in the future, in a place called Durban. Stumped by the modern advance of mankind, the primitive misfits are rescued by museum curator, Reshmi (Reddy). While she tries to help them, her fiancé, Kerrit, teams up with Eyepatch, an equally avaricious store owner, to lay their hands on the precious stone.
It is pointless rating Schuster's performance, but Reddy and Tongayi stand out. Aside from adding glam to her character, Reddy gives an understated performance as someone trapped between succumbing to her romantic feelings and allowing her moral conscience to override it. Tongayi, though mostly found with a pokerfaced expression, imbues a subtle quirkiness to his character.
An OTT Pillay finds himself in the same boat as Meren and Gendadoo - mind-numbingly one-dimensional.
While his candid camera films made him an instantly recognisable brand, Schuster's departure into comedy with You Must Be Joking confirmed his bankability.
And, today, his success with Mr Bones, which grossed a staggering R33-million and outperformed Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings at the box office, and Mama Jack, which earned R28-million, have made him almost invincible at the box office.
It is this critic-proof shield that will see Mr Bones 2 set the box office alight with a cyclonic force, despite the film's flimsy storyline and gags that play out with a candid-camera feel.
If you liked Mr Bones, Mama Jack or any Leon Schuster flick you will enjoy this.
Best bit: When Bones and Hekule trash a taxi that almost runs them over and leave the petrified driver diving for cover and his gun.
Worse bit: The crudeness of the gags, especially when Bones and Hekule drink from a toilet they mistake for a fountain.
Best line: Confounded by Bones and Hekule, who wreak mayhem in Durban, Alfred Ntombela chuckles: "My oom Zuma se umshini wam."