Starring: John Lynch, Cornelius Clarke, Cian Barry
Director: Tom Reeve
Running Time: 89 mins
Holy Water is an Irish film about a group of rural villagers who, in order to make a bit of money, decide to hijack a truck of Viagra and sell the product on. However, they soon find they’re in deeper than they can handle when a crack American investigative squad gets onto their tail.
Though not exactly the most hilarious Irish comedy you’ll ever see, Holy Water is a likably weird affair, with a collection of zany performances and a thoroughly entertaining clash of cultures. Admittedly, the same premise was done a little better by the later film The Guard, but Holy Water is certainly likable enough to keep you smiling throughout.
So, let’s start with that very premise, which is by far and away the funniest part of the whole movie. After thinking they’ve pulled off a heist to change their lives, a bunch of rural men find themselves under pursuit from a brutal team of investigators, shipped out from America by the company producing the stolen Viagra.
At the centre of that investigative squad is Linda Hamilton, whose hard-as-nails, Sarah Connor-esque performance is brilliantly out of place among a collection of wise-cracking yet weak-willed villagers, as she pulls out all the stops to brutally hunt down the culprits of the theft.
It’s that clash of cultures, between the hi-tech, relentless American big city life and the slow-paced, low-stakes world of rural village life that makes for some great laughs here, and as the film ramps up with a surprising pace, it proves a thoroughly entertaining watch.
Admittedly, the film’s biggest value comes in the form of that line of comedy, and there aren’t quite as many laughs in the characters themselves, beyond the fact that they’re a zany bunch who end up as real fish out of water as the investigators get onto their tail.
As a result, Holy Water doesn’t quite have the energy to really entertain from its early stages, and it’s only once the Americans arrive on shore that the film really ramps up to likable and hilarious levels. In short, Holy Water is a fun film, but not perfect all the way through, so that’s why I’m giving it a 6.9 overall.