‘Mad Dogs’: Series 2 Episode 2 review

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Last week’s explosive ending told us that Woody, Quinn, Baxter and Rick were not in for smooth getaway (with oodles of cash). Indeed, things are about to get a lot worse for our “heroes”…

Fleeing the burning car, which was intended to kill the foursome, the men begin to bicker again – a trait which made for so many memorable moments in the first series. And it’s here we see the nastier, and slightly more dim, nature of their characters.

Mad Dogs, so far, has never glamourised the middle-aged buffoonery; with most episodes taking time to focus on their mistakes – both past and present. Very quickly their idiocy and petulance comes to the fore when they “split up”, each gathering their share of the stolen loot.

Of course, the gang are back together within minutes when they collectively realise they need Rick (played by Marc Warren) to process the monetary transactions for them. Warren gets all the laughs, again, lamenting his choice to come on holiday with the boys – “Should have gone to Wales,” he amusingly moans.

Adding to his one-liners Rick asks, “Can we just stop breaking the law?” when the suggestion of stealing a car is broached. Warren plays the comedy pitch perfect and switches to his more slimier, snakier side in a quiet moment with Woody (Max Beesley); suggesting that they are innocent of the crimes, laying blame on their two friends. It’s nasty stuff.

The episode is full of quiet moments, it should be said. Perhaps too many. There is a most definite lull between the comedic opening and the appearance of the “big bad”, David Warner (The Omen). Voodoo and religion both crop up but it’s difficult to take either notion seriously in the context they are presented (being somewhat shoehorned).

It’s the appearance of tough old boot Mackenzie, played by the aforementioned Warner, when things really liven up. His relaxed face-off with Philip Glenister on the beach lifted the preceding half hour or so out of its mundanity – thanks, largely, to both actors playing their respective roles so engagingly. And Warner’s utterance of, ” ‘av  a fahkin’ ice cream,” certainly left a smile on the face.

The shocking end, the reveal of the hanged Hector, really brought the episode back up to pace but one can’t help but feel the makers were doing the old Lost trick of great cliffhangers just to keep you coming back.

Simm & Co. make Mad Dogs a compelling watch and hopefully the remaining instalments will have a full hour’s entertainment, as opposed to fifteen minutes.

Aired at 9pm on Thursday 26th January 2012 on Sky1.

> Buy the Series 1 DVD on Amazon.

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