Film Review: Fisherman’s Friends 2: One and All lacks any of the charm or wit of its breezy predecessor

  • Peter Gray
  • February 23, 2023
  • Comments Off on Film Review: Fisherman’s Friends 2: One and All lacks any of the charm or wit of its breezy predecessor

Whilst I can see the charm that audiences fell for regarding the original Fisherman’s Friends, a 2019 “feel-good” true story dramedy about the unlikely musical success of the titular Cornish fishermen, who signed with Universal Records and garnered a Top 10 placing album with their sea shanty renditions, none of that is remotely present in this wildly unnecessary sequel.

Whatever charm or wit the first film conjured is lost at sea in Fisherman’s Friends 2: One and All, a humourless follow-up that feels far too regressive for a 2023 cinema outing – even if the characters are all of a certain age and generation; of course, the film being set in 2011 may be used as a reason to give license to such dated humour and views.

Having lost his father – a presence that still lingers over the film as a hallucinogenic form – and the group’s tenor to an Australian locale, shanty lead singer Jim (James Purefoy, all gruff and no gaiety) is in the most down-trodden of moods, crawling into whatever bottle is on hand, with only his granddaughter (Meadow Nobrega) and mother (Maggie Steed) for comfort.  A visiting Irish folk singer (Imelda May), a “wild child” hoping for some peace and quiet in the South West English seaside, looks to be the fix for his temperament, but in the hands of directors Nick Moorcroft and Meg Leonard (the Blithe Spirit scribes making their co-directorial debut here) and their tepid script, co-written with Piers Ashworth, this “love” story hardly inspires, merely extending the already taxing film to a bloated 111 minutes.

With stereotypical montage sequences of supposedly hilarious auditions when the Fisherman’s Friends hope to find a new musical addition for their crew – oh, the fun that is watching someone sing “In The Navy” by the Village People – and mishandled group phone calls with record labels acting as the standard of humour, the only hope One and All has in making us feel remotely entertained is through its musical performances, and even they lack an exciting aesthetic beyond sounding pleasant to the ear.

A boring, insultingly pedestrian film that isn’t even so bad it manages an entertaining personality of sorts, Fisherman’s Friends 2: One and All should be disbanded, unfollowed and put in the bargain bin.


Fisherman’s Friends 2: One and All is now screening in Australian theatres.

Peter Gray

Film critic with a penchant for Dwayne Johnson, Jason Momoa, Michelle Pfeiffer and horror movies, harbouring the desire to be a face of entertainment news.