FILM REVIEW: The Breaker Upperers

New Zealand cinema is in a bit of a sweet spot at the moment.

This is largely due to Taika Waititi, the director extraordinaire behind Thor: Ragnarok.

Waititi has blitzed the Kiwi box office with hits like Boy, Hunt for the Wilderpeople and What We Do in the Shadows and now he’s back – wearing his producer’s hat – with The Breaker Uppers.

The comedy follows friends Jen (Jackie van Beek) and Mel (Madeleine Sami) and their unique business – breaking people up for money.

The movie opens with the co-workers, dressed as police, telling a bawling Anna (Aussie comedienne Celia Pacquola) that her husband went missing and hasn’t been found. Turns out he’s actually waiting in their car and has hired them to make a clean break

This is just one of the many and varied techniques Jen and Mel use to split up unhappy couples.

Enter Jordan (James Rollaston, all grown up since his lead role in Boy), who wants to hire the women to break up him and his ‘missus’.

Things get complicated when Jordan takes an interest in Mel.

Funny trio: Writer/director/star duo Jackie van Beek and Madeleine Sami with James Rollaston in the hilarious The Breaker Upperers, rated M, in cinemas now.

Funny trio: Writer/director/star duo Jackie van Beek and Madeleine Sami with James Rollaston in the hilarious The Breaker Upperers, rated M, in cinemas now.

TheBreaker Upperers is a hilarious little package.

The film only goes for about an hour and a half but manages to pack in a lot of laughs in a short runtime.

The patented brand of Kiwi humour that Waititi has done so well in his films is perfectly brought to life here.

Sami and van Beek not only starred in The Breaker Upperers, they also wrote and directed the film.

Their snappy, awkward comedy style brilliantly serves the film, which is filled with strange, memorable characters.

There’s also a tonne of cameos to spot, from frequent Waititi collaborator and one half of Flight of the Conchords Jemaine Clement to comedienne and Have You Been Paying Attention panellist Urzila Carlson. There’s also another great blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo in an early montage, but that one won’t be spoiled here.

Fellow Have You Been Paying Attention regular Pacquola is wonderful in her role, as is Rollaston.

The Breaker Upperers offer plenty of laugh-out-loud moments and a musical number or two to impress all audiences.

Rating: 7/10