War starts between two motor clubs when Gino, a member of the Bowling Balls, begins a love affair with Tina, the younger sister of the president of the Banana Knights. This violates the rules of both clubs.
Peter Van den Begin,
Jonas Van Geel
What does a person when a suitcase full of dirty money literally falls on his head ? Give the money back, hand it over to the police or spend it as fast as possible ? Frits and Franky resolutely opt for the latter.
Peter Van den Begin,
Germaine Debruycker is 18 when the workers at the Vieille Montagne factory, including her father, go on strike to obtain a 10 franc raise. The turbulent strike lasts for 9 weeks and changes their lives forever. Based on a true story.
Frank van Mechelen
Michel van Dousselaere
In August 1996, bus drivers Marcel Van Loock and Wim Moreels are apprehended by the Moroccan Customs for drug trafficking. Inside their bus, hidden behind a false compartment, they have ... See full summary »
Clan draws you into the lives of the Goethals sisters, tied together by the premature death of their parents, they've clung to each other like a real clan. But ever since their fifth ... See full summary »
Kristine Van Pellicom,
Frits and Freddy Frateur make their living as Bible salesmen, but suffer difficulties due to the economic crisis. When ringing the doorbell of Carlo Mus, who is under surveillance by the secret service for fraud, both men are laughed at while closing the door. This is one step too far for the Frateur brothers. Violently, they invade the luxurious villa. They hurt the rude man but flee when the alarm sounds. Being no trouble for Mus to locate the Frateur brother, he finds revenge. But Frits and Freddy now feel humiliated and seek revenge once more. Once again they break in, but now they kidnap the wife of the household: Gina.Written by
Matthias De Bruyne
Oh, I so wanted to like this movie ! Envisaging the kind of cinematic cool conjured up by the likes of Tarantino and the Coen brothers, writer Mark Punt and director Guy Goossens at least tried to do something radically different within Belgian cinema. It comes as a major disappointment then that each scene seems to play out like a pale carbon copy of a similar situation in a much better film, disfigured right from the start by the desperate mugging from both leads, the overrated Peter Van den Begin (who's only ever really good in measured support, as in Pieter Van Hees's vastly superior DIRTY MIND) and the unbearable Tom Van Dyck whose manic persona was better suited to TV rather than magnified onto the cinema screen. Overlooking the fact that Goossens and Punt had previously collaborated on the extremely popular if (because ?) wildly over the top TV series MATROESJKA'S, leaving no sleazy stone unturned in its tabloid type exposé of the strip joint and prostitution racket, I boldly ventured into my local multiplex on a dreary Thursday afternoon, hopes held high against better judgment, only to see my fears and doubts confirmed. Punt crafted a pair of superior commercial products like DIEF! and SHE GOOD FIGHTER in his day but appears to have been pandering to the lowest common denominator ever since. Going for hip, FRITS & FREDDY feels derivative and devoid of inspiration. Lines that were funny in its brilliantly edited trailer fall flat due to pathetically poor timing, surely the kiss of death for what purports to be a comedy.
Focusing on the Frateur brothers, a pair of wildly unsuccessful Bible salesmen, the narrative receives a much-needed shot in the arm from its cast of supporting characters, uniformly excellent (with the possible exception of pretty TV presenter turned wannabe thespian Erika Van Tielen) albeit ensconced within predictable parameters to any audience familiar with their work. Fresh from portraying the larger than life pater familias of a butcher dynasty in Johan Timmers's strikingly surreal THE ODD ONE OUT, Wim Opbrouck scores as money-laundering "rich bastard" (and predictable antagonist to the proudly proletarian protagonists) Carlo Mus whose tit for tat trade-off in mutual humiliation with the title characters informs what little plot the picture ultimately holds. Loose cannon Freddy pulls a gun on him, so he sets fire to the decrepit shack they call home, to which they retaliate by kidnapping his trophy wife Gina (the formidable Tania Kloek, a talented comedienne in dire need of superior material, seen to much better advantage in Jan Verheyen's TEAM SPIRIT movies) and inadvertently flattening his chihuahua under a grandfather clock ! Attempting to milk Mus to the tune of 100,000 Euro, the clueless goons find their plans thwarted by the double-crossing spouse who urges them to double the requested amount for her benefit as more and more innocent bystanders get unwittingly as well as unwillingly involved and unforeseen (except by cinema savvy audiences that have seen the movies that "inspired" the makers) problems start piling up until the dull thud of a climax barely qualifying as such.
I saw this with an audience of obvious cathode ray junkies who clearly delighted in spotting so many familiar faces from the small screen. Jan Van Looveren finds himself cast to type yet again as an albeit sensitive heavy after the first rate job he did playing the screw-up son in Geoffrey Enthoven's wonderful OVER THE HILL BAND with his sensible bro' from that movie, the perpetually befuddled Lucas van den Eijnde, bumbling his way through another incompetent policeman part, each carrying over his carved in stone TV stock character. Sole wild card may be the as of yet still criminally underrated Damiaan De Schrijver, so good as the strong silent dad of a retarded boy accused of rape and murder in Hilde Van Mieghem's LOVE BELONGS TO EVERYONE and genuinely touching here as the brothers' frequently abused blind neighbor. Loved the out of left field ice cream gag ! Ultimately, only Van Tielen lets the side down as a tiresomely "spunky" hitchhiker caught in the middle. But good actors need good lines and Punt doesn't supply them with a whole of those, going for the easy target every time. Film's final "joke" actually manages to offend not one but two minority groups in one fell swoop ! At least Finnish composer Tuomas Kantelinen, who penned the pleasingly atmospheric score to Renny Harlin's underrated MINDHUNTERS, keeps up the pace with too cool for school rhythms referencing Tarantino's high energy grab bag approach to movie music, especially RESERVOIR DOGS. As it was simultaneously freezing and pouring down outside, I didn't regret wasting an hour and a half of my life on this derivative claptrap too much. Still, my country's cinema has progressed in leaps and bounds in recent times, moving away from the "worthy" heritage literature adaptations it used to be notorious for. It's heartening nevertheless to witness filmmakers embracing styles and subjects previously deemed out of bounds, even if it does spawn the occasional failure such as this.
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