Klown (18)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner06/12/2013

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 89 mins

Impressively directed and sharply written, Klown is a frequently hilarious (and very, very wrong) Danish gross-out comedy with a pair of terrific comic performances from Frank Hvam and Casper Christensen, but if you're easily offended, you should probably give this a miss.

What's it all about?
Directed by Mikkel Nørgaard, Klown is based on a popular Danish TV show (Klovn) and stars Frank Hvam as Frank, a hapless, not-terribly-bright 40-something who's shocked when his girlfriend Mia (Mia Lyhne) informs him that she's pregnant. After the latest in a series of mishaps (don't ask), an angry Mia tells Frank that she's thinking of an abortion because he'd be a terrible father, so he kidnaps her 12 year old nephew Bo (Marcuz Jess Peterson) and takes him on a canoeing weekend with his best friend Casper (Casper Christensen) in order to prove her wrong.

However, the camping trip is actually just an excuse for womanising Casper to have sex with as many women as possible over the course of the weekend without his wife (Iben Hjejle) finding out. Needless to say, he doesn't let the presence of a 12 year old get in the way of that and Bo is soon exposed to all manner of inappropriate activities.

The Good
Frank Hvam and Casper Christensen are both superb as the two leads, delivering likeable performances that go some way towards excusing their often jaw-dropping onscreen behaviour (e.g. taking a photo of Bo's penis while he's asleep so that they'll “have something on him”). Similarly, Marcuz Jess Peterson delivers a remarkably game performance as Bo, though you shudder to think just how much of the script he was aware of while shooting.

Though unknown to UK viewers, the Danish TV show is similar to Curb Your Enthusiasm (largely improvised around a plot outline) and trades heavily on cringe-comedy or the comedy of embarrassment. There's certainly a lot of that here, with gross-out jokes that put the likes of The Hangover trilogy to shame (unsurprisingly, The Hangover director Todd Phillips is rumoured to be directing the US remake of Klown, with Danny McBride); highlights include Frank attempting to give his girlfriend a pearl necklace (in the Urban Dictionary sense – look it up) and Casper's tried-and-tested method of defusing arguments with men (i.e. flirting with them) backfiring in spectacular fashion.

The Great
Mikkel Nørgaard's direction and sense of comic timing is extremely impressive throughout, cleverly deploying misdirection in a number of the comic set-pieces, so that you're already laughing/cringing at the outcome you expect, only to be hit by something completely different. On top of that, the actors infuse the film with genuine heart, despite their nefarious activities, and the result is weirdly moving.

Worth seeing?
It's fair to say that Klown won't be to everyone's taste, but if you're a fan of extremely risqué humour, this is well written, superbly acted and very, very funny.

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Content updated: 18/09/2018 22:43

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