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By Clint Morris | July 25, 2003

The search for the grand Fish N’ Chip shop is an Australian ritual. There ain’t nothing like a searing hot minimum chips, nothing as splendid as an oil-bathed dim-sim, nor nothing as flavorsome as a piece of thick, fluffy Flake. But one things for sure, no matter how substandard the Fish, no matter how wintry the Chips, or how mature the onion ring, Fish N’ Chips is always a much grander option than the alternative: the nasty, fat-smothered commercial conglomerate. You know the one – the burgers come off a factory conveyer belt, the nuggets’ made of ingredients you’d only find in a horse’s troth, and soft drink with plenty of ice, no drink. Obviously writers, Mark O’Toole and Dave O’Neil share the sentiment having written the new Australian comedy “Takeaway”.

Tony (Vince Colosimo) and Trev (Stephen Curry) own rival fish ‘n’ chip shops in suburban Melbourne. They’re always trying to one-up one another (Trev seems to think the ‘Dim Stick on a Stick’ will inevitably make his store more popular) and always intrusive to what the others got doing.

It’s business as usual, until a multinational ‘Burgies’ fast food outlet (think two of the most well-known fats-foods restaurants shared) decides it’s opening a store right next door to the small businesses. With the help of the community, and Tony and Trev’s own respective employees, Dave (Nathan Phillips) and Sonja (Rose Byrne), the little guy decides to fight back. But ultimately, they realize getting rid of Burgies is tougher than eating through to the hub of a Chicken Nugget.

O’Toole, O’Neil and Director Mark Gracie (“The Craic”) have taken a plotline that could be summed up in less than a sentence, and elongated it to the form of an indisputably enjoyable, very Australian, feature length flick. The jokes thin out towards the end, but for the most part, and largely due to the great cast, proceedings are kept amusing and vivacious – At the same time, proving the scribes have a great understanding of our culture, and predominantly, the Australian sense of humor.

As the dapper, perfectionist, Tony, Vince Colosimo is more in his element than anyone. He looks the part, acts the part, and is the part. In addition, Colosimo proves such a good sport when ribbing his own nationality and acuity. In addition, Stephen Curry gives a generously amusing performance as the slobbish Trev, Rose Byrne, absolutely lovely as Sonja, Nathan Phillips (of “Australian Rules”) well-cast in the part of dole bludger come fast food worker, Dave, and Matt Dyktynski (of TV’s “Shock Jock”) deliciously fun as the devilish ‘Burgies’ manager.

All in all, “Takeaway” isn’t a film that’ll leave a lasting impression, but as it stands its well-formed comedy, with plenty of laughs, plenty of spirit and a “Castle” like climax that’ll have you cheering in the aisles – and put-off fries and soggy burgers indefinitely. Minimum Chips, Maximum Laughs, if you will.

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