You either love Leon Schuster’s slapstick offerings or you don’t. But it really doesn’t matter where you sit on the fan scale, his movies are always a hit at the box office.
It’s the one movie you need not bother critiquing. The fans will veto everything you say.
On that note, brace yourself for silly shenanigans galore with Schuster, Alfred “Shorty” Ntombela, Tumi Morake, Sans Moonsamy, Daniel Janks, Sthandile Nkosi, Jay Anstey and Jerry Mofokeng in “Mr Bones 3: Son of Bones”.
In the third instalment of the franchise, Mr. Bones (Schuster) is ready to pass on his legacy to his son, Mathambo (Ntombela).
There’s just one glitch in the plan – his son isn’t ready to take over the baton, so to speak.
Mr Bones has his hands full with corporate greed causing chaos in Kuvukiland. His efforts to outsmart the Westerners require the help of his son and, in a series of hilarious twists and turns, they end up bonding, too.
Morake plays Mambao, who is one of the few Kuvukis to have explored the outside world.
There is history between Mr Bones and her – but it is hinted at and not fully explored. She plays a key role in the battle with illegal oil drillers on Kuvukiland.
A fan, she was all in when her agent asked her to audition for the movie.
She said: “I was like, ‘Are you kidding me?’ A chance to work with the legendary Leon Schuster and ‘Shorty’ on a legendary franchise? Yes!’
“Playing a bad guy and also working in slapstick comedy was the sugar in the deal. Knowing I would get to play opposite Leon and cause a little chaos sounded like fun.
“Leon was such a hoot! He is like a kid in a candy store on set, there’s always a joke or a prank coming.
“Watching how meticulous he is with the comedy – from choices in words and sounds to how the comedy works physically in a scene – was like being in a comedy masterclass.”
Janks shared Morake’s sentiments. He is cast as Jack, an archetypal tough Texas cowboy with a licence to drill for oil in Kuvukiland.
He added: “Bad guys are always fun to play. And in this type of film, you can go to town indulging your more melodramatic side. I’m also a huge fan of physical comedy so this was a treat.”
On working with Schuster, he said: “Leon was amazing. He’s a real South African institution and it’s great to be a small part of that.”
Now Jack is as unscrupulous as they come, which means that he is not a fan of Mr Bones and vice-versa.
Last but not least, there is Nkosi, who plays Amina, the tomboy Cinderella in the story.
“I loved the innocence in Amina, her heart of gold and all-around kindness,” she said. “She isn’t scared to engage in the hard work that needs to be done in order to keep the king of Kuvukiland well taken care of.
“She’s a very happy girl who loves hard. And fights for what she wants and ends up gaining everything she needs – real love.
“She’s shy but quietly feisty at the same time. She’s helpful and caring to those close to her, putting other people first. She is loving and loyal to her king.”
On working with an icon like Schuster, she shared: “It was a privilege to work with someone I grew up watching. More so, on a production that has done well at the box office.
“It’s watched by many families. I never thought that in my wildest dreams I would later work with Leon. It was a good experience.”
The other characters in the movie, which is directed by Gray Hofmeyr, include Alvin (Moonsamy), who has contacts within the Department of Mineral Affairs and arranged the oil drilling contract; Gabrielle (Anstey), a game ranger working for Jack and Alvin who finds herself conflicted by her personal and professional commitments; and, the king (Mofokeng), who is as accident-prone as they come.
Tobie Cronje and Bouwer Bosch make surprise guest appearances in the comedy.
“Mr Bones 3: Son of Bones” opens on the big screen, nationwide, on Thursday.