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KLOWN – Review

December 6, 2013

Film + Entertainment | by Francesco Cerniglia


Comedies usually have a gimmick to push the story along; after all, you need a setup for any joke to work; for example Bridesmaids had a wedding and Hangover had to find Doug. Klown does have a setup but its jokes are so bizarrely juxtaposed against what the plot is, it only makes it funnier. The story revolves around Frank Hvam’s resolve to prove he has what it takes to be a father to his recently pregnant girlfriend; the only problem is he’s absolutely terrible at it. He’s also pretty terrible at a lot of other things too.

Based on a hit Danish TV show, Frank Hvam and his friend Casper Christensen (both playing ludicrous versions of themselves) have planned a canoeing trip filled with alcohol, sex and drugs; however Frank decides to take his nephew Bo along in order to prove himself as a responsible adult. The idea is anyone has what it takes to be a great father, but like his friend Casper tells Frank: “with you, it’s just buried really deep”. The father/ son element is played for laughs in excruciatingly outrageous jokes that somehow manage to be offensive without actually feeling offensive, which might be because of films like Hangover that have pushed the boundaries of outrageous jokes. The film did come out in 2010 but has only just graced our shores, so there is a lot of emphasis on the gross out humour which was popular at the time; this works to its advantage as I laughed more than winced.

Frank is an average guy with a below average intelligence. Before the film has really begun Frank has already abandoned Bo when he wakes to find his house is being burgled. Leaving behind a child in a house full of burglars would usually bring a sneer against such a horrible character, but Frank is honestly a great joy to watch on screen sharing a quality of being both absolutely dim and lovable, traits that Homer Simpson seems to share. Casper on the other hand is a slimy but charismatic character, aiming to cheat on his girlfriend as much as he possibly can before the holiday is over. A sad and lonely Bo is played by Marcuz Jess Petersen, naively looking for a sense of adventure.


As the film progresses, you wonder how Frank and Casper managed to get girlfriends in the first place when they’re so incapable of running their own lives. At one point you have to wonder why Bo hasn’t called the police or hitched a ride back home after his ‘kidnapping’ (Frank takes Bo rather than asking him to join). Having to suspend your disbelief so early on is distracting but you get over it soon enough.

The script is very unique and although the dialogue is a little strangely written in some places there’s no joke that falls flat and the plot is consistently making twists; one second they’re camping and the next the group is on the run from a group of teenage boys. The jokes might be in poor taste for some, ranging from penis jokes to rape and infidelity but it’s otherwise some of the funniest stuff I’ve heard in a while. Outrageous and funny, Klown is filled with laughter that comes with a wince of pain but it is enormously good fun.

Klown is out in UK cinemas on Friday, December 6th.

Sunny Ramgolam