Restless Natives | Chicago Reader

Restless Natives

Two penurious Scottish lads, tired of chronic underemployment in their native Edinburgh, decide to make their lives more interesting and profitable by robbing tourist excursion buses in the Highlands. Michael Hoffman's slight regional comedy attempts a mating of (Bill) Forsythian feyness and urban underclass striving, though the sociological impulse is never very strong (motorcycle rides through picturesque Highland landscapes seem to be Hoffman's main concern: it's almost as if he's shooting commercials for the Scottish Tourist Board). The story line quickly tumbles into triviality (lots of cute moppets to siphon away social anger) and Hoffman's handling of the Robin Hood theme (the thieves become instant folk celebrities) makes Matthew Robbins's Legend of Billie Jean seem like a model of revolutionary intelligence, but the faux naif styling (in a sub-Letter to Brezhnev mode) provides some raggedly colorful moments. With Joe Mullaney, Vincent Friell, and Ned Beatty.

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