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Just When You Thought You'd Seen It All... 'Mr. Bones 3: Son of Bones'


Mr Bones 3: Son of Bones
is coming and there's nowhere to hide. Scheduled to release on Easter weekend on 15 April 2022, the "much-anticipated blockbuster" sees the return of Leon Schuster as the inimitable medicine man, Mr Bones. He's not alone, re-teaming with long-time filmmaking collaborator Gray Hofmeyer and the one and only, Alfred "Shorty" Ntombela.

Leon Schuster was at the height of his career at the time of Mr. Bones. Defying slings and arrows, stick and stones... he's back with Mr. Bones 3: Son of Bones, which is apparently his last film - probably dependent on box office takings. This time around, he's assembled a good cast, re-teamed with the hysterical Alfred Ntombela and while it's complicated... hestill has a special place in the hearts of many South Africans.

Mr Bones 3: Son of Bones

While the Mr. Bones series has always aimed for low-hanging fruit and puerile popcorn fun, Mr Bones and Mr Bones 2: Back from the Past were runaway box office success stories in South Africa, breaking into the Top 10. This proved that the candid comedian turned slapstick actor had a major draw with a diverse range of local audiences. Having gone through the gauntlet of cancel culture, where opinion is still divided about his legacy of films, it seems that Schuster is still kicking.

It's been a while since Frank & Fearless, a silly African adventure that centred on rhino conservation. Taking on a similar ecological agenda, Mr. Bones 3 journeys with Mr. Bones and his son, Mathambo. Now getting on in years, he must pass on his knowledge to his son, guide him into manhood and thwart unscrupulous oil prospectors and treasure hunters to defend Kuvukiland. All in a day's work.

Making it a trilogy, Mr. Bones 3: Son of Bones is the sequel we never knew we needed or even wanted. The third installment comes 14 years after Mr. Bones 2 and features a solid local cast including: Tumi Morake, Sans Moonsamy, Daniel Janks, Sthandile Nkosi, Jay Anstey and Jerry Mofokeng.

The "son of" sequel and reboot naming convention has always signaled a misfire. The Son of the Pink Panther with Roberto Benigni tanked, Son of the Mask was horrendous, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective Jr. is just a "son of" in disguise. In fact... the only real success story for a sequel with this naming convention is The Godfather II, which is also known as Son of Godfather but had the presence of mind to skip the ill-fated title. In its defence, it's not a reboot and actually features the original Mr. Bones.

Based on the camp and slapstick franchise's runaway box office success, there's definitely an audience for Schuster's brand of comedy. Coming at a time where escapist entertainment is more appealing than ever, the much-needed dose of laughter and silliness could hit a sweet spot. Having broken records with Mr. Bones and Mr. Bones 2: Back from the Past, there will be a great deal of pressure on Part 3 to perform with cinemas still recovering from two years of pandemic disruption.

Coming at Easter, it seems that Mr. Bones 3: Son of Bones is expected to perform miracles. It it works, it'll help redeem Schuster's flagging celebrity, draw people back to cinemas at this crucial time and give people from all walks of life some long-awaited comic relief. It's not what we want South African cinema to be known for but these kind of cinematic events are welcome in their ability to generate renewed interest and help sustain the industry.