Directed by Mikkel Nørgaard.
Starring Frank Hvam, Casper Christensen, Marcuz Jess Petersen, Mia Lyhne, Iben Hjejle, and Niels Weyde.
In order to prove to his pregnant girlfriend that he is father material, Frank brings his 12-year-old nephew along on a weekend canoeing trip with his friend Casper, although the trip is really a front for a weekend of debauchery.
There is always a danger with comedy in a foreign language that the humour won’t translate as well, especially when you have to read subtitles and, as we all know thanks to social media and the backlashes it can cause, crude humour in written form doesn’t always have the desired effect. Luckily Danish comedy Klown doesn’t rely too much on the written (or spoken) word for most of its humour, most of which is very juvenile (but still extremely funny) and means you’ll probably have some explaining to do if somebody who isn’t clued in on it catches you watching it.
Best friends Frank and Casper (played respectively by Danish comedians Frank Hvam and Casper Christensen) are planning a canoe trip, nicknamed The Tour de Pussy by the sex-mad Casper, but hapless Frank has just discovered that his girlfriend Mia (Mia Lyhne) is pregnant. Mia isn’t convinced that Frank has what it takes to be a good father so in order to convince her he ‘kidnaps’ her 12-year-old nephew Bo (Marcuz Jess Petersen) to take on his trip but Casper isn’t so keen as he thinks having a child tag along will only get in the way of his activities, and so hilarity ensues.
Based on a Danish sitcom of the same name, it is safe to say that the humour in Klown is quite uncomfortable but the performances from the two leads – especially Frank Hvam, who is a cross between Sean Lock and Charlie Higson – are so charming and their predicaments so outlandish that you just can’t help yourself as everything they do seems to have consequences further on down the line. Mention must also go to young Marcuz Jess Petersen, who probably needs counselling by now for the abuse he has to put up with as the well-meaning Frank tries to bond with him, and his hangdog expressions which cause Frank to behave the way he does in the final act which is where the heart of Klown really lies as, despite the dubious goings on, graphic sex and explicit language, there is a heart-warming story in there somewhere.
A side-splitting mix of Curb Your Enthusiasm and Porky’s, Klown isn’t a non-stop gag-fest as there are some dramatic beats shoehorned in to aid the setup and Frank’s character-building turning point, and because of that the film is better than the usual tiresome movie version of a popular TV show that normally just overplays the same jokes in a different setting. To aid you on your way if you are new to the world of Klown there is an episode of the TV show included in the special features that, as well as being co-written with Lars Von Trier (Antichrist/Nymphomaniac), also shows that the television and movie versions are pretty much in synch humour and content-wise. Klown isn’t an effects movie so if you already own the previously released bare-bones DVD version that Arrow put out a few years back then you may be quibbling over whether to upgrade to the Blu-ray version so, as well as including the TV show episode, there is also an audio commentary from director Mikkel Nørgaard and writer-actors Frank Hvam and Casper Christensen as well as a making-of documentary, deleted and alternative scenes, outtakes and a cringe-inducing featurette on how the filmmakers made some of the films prosthetics (made all the more amusing because that particular featurette is called Crafting the Willie – say no more), so if you are already on board with the film then shelling out again for this new edition is well worth it (and some of those gorgeous exterior shots on the Danish rivers do benefit from the HD upgrade). Consequently, if you have never heard of Klown and wish to investigate then here is the best place to start.
Although initially a little slow to start, when the gags hit it is truly laugh-out-loud hilarious but please do not have any food or drink in your mouth when the final scenes of the film are playing out as it could be messy and cost you a new TV if you are sitting too close. Despite how low it goes Klown does rank as one of the funniest movies you will ever see and you will hate yourself for laughing at it, but laugh you most certainly will – you have been warned.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★