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Mr. Bones

Silly but painless South African kidpic "Mr. Bones" is less educational than "The Lion King," though there's certainly enough fast-paced slapstick and local color to keep small fries awake.

With: Leon Schuster, David Ramsey, Faizon Love, Robert Whitehead, Jane Benney.

Silly but painless South African kidpic “Mr. Bones” is less educational than “The Lion King,” though there’s certainly enough fast-paced slapstick and local color to keep small fries awake. Tale of a Tiger Woods-like golf champ and white “wild child’s” misadventures together around Sun City is a reasonably slick, very broad comedy that should score some offshore tube and tape sales.

Prologue has a plane crash leaving only a toddler alive (a la “Tarzan”). Fending off a hungry lion via some timely flatulence, he’s raised by the Kuvuki plains tribe, who dub him “Bones” for his prophetic skills. Thirty-five years later, the goofy grownup (Leon Schuster) is dispatched by heir-less King Tsonga to find the son the king may have sired decades before. By chance, U.S. golf pro “Vince the Prince” (David Ramsey) has just arrived in Africa. Dragged unwillingly to Kuvukiland as the presumed heir, Vince is pursued by his manager (Faizon Love), villainous casino owner (Robert Whitehead) and love interest (Jane Benney). All ends well, natch. Projectile elephant dung, bird droppings, rhinoceros behinds, and other icky perils pepper cheerful if tasteless action; perfs are likeable, presentation bright.

Mr. Bones

South Africa

Production: A Distant Horizon and Videovision Entertainment production. Produced by Anant Singh, Helena Spring. Executive producer, Sudhir Paghee. Directed by Gray Hofmeyr. Screenplay, Leon Schuster, Greg Latter, Hofmeyr.

Crew: Camera (color), Buster Reynolds; editor, Johan Lategan, Carl Morgan; music, Julian Wiggins; production designer, Robert Van de Coolwijk. Reviewed at Montreal World Film Festival (African Horizons), Aug. 23, 2002. Running time: 99 MIN.

With: With: Leon Schuster, David Ramsey, Faizon Love, Robert Whitehead, Jane Benney.

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