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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » The Dudesons Movie
The Dudesons Movie
Rhino // Unrated // July 11, 2006
List Price: $19.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Ian Jane | posted July 3, 2006 | E-mail the Author
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C O N T E N T
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A U D I O
E X T R A S
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P R I N T
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The Movie:

Who or what are The Dudesons? Short answer, they're four young men hailing from Finland who grew up together and became close friends. They also more or less kick started the whole 'extreme dumb stunts' thing that made Jackass and Viva La Bam! the hits that they were for MTV. These guys are the originators, they predate what Knoxville and company were doing by a couple of years, and in some ways, they're even more daring and/or more insane.

So you'd think that The Dudesons Movie would be full of crazy stunts, wacky comedy and guys flying off of skateboards and bikes and landing on their faces… stuff like that, right? Right! But that's only part of what we get here in this film that is as much a 'get to know The Dudesons' piece as it is a montage of messed up comedy and stunt work. The result is a strange mix of biographical content and physical comedy set against the backdrop of the natural beauty of northern Finland.

At any rate, the four men that make up The Dudesons are Jarppi Leppala, Jukka Hilden, Jarno Laasala, and HP Parvianen and as the movie introduces us to each of the four men it also explains to us their basic personality traits as well as their niche within the group. We've got a ladies man, a practical joker, a daredevil and an archivist, essentially and when they work together they do more or less get all of the bases covered and The Dudesons ends up being a pretty well rounded comedy troupe. Because these guys have known one another for so long and are so comfortable around each other they've got very few inhibitions and they also have a strange sort of loyal trust to one another. While this loyalty won't stop them from pulling pranks on each other it does allow them to really go for it when filming their tricks as they know that if something goes wrong one of the other guys is there to help out. This results in a willingness to attempt some pretty ridiculous events, which we get bits and pieces of in the film.

That there is the problem.

There aren't a lot of complete bits in here, mostly just pieces from the various stunts that they've pulled off over the years rather than entire segments and the movie at times almost feels like a trailer reel. We get as much, if not more, talking head/interview footage with the four guys than we do actual stunt footage and while they come across as completely likeable types, the stunt footage is really what most of us are wanting to see on a release like this. That being said, there are still some great moments in here including a few stunts that don't work out so well and one that seriously injures one of the guys and lands him in the hospital.

The humor is crass and juvenile, just like the Jackass material, but parts of it are undeniably funny and it's hard not to snicker at some of this stuff. At one point The Dudesons meet up with Steve-O, who sings their praises, and Bam Margera pops in to give us his take on them as well – both Jackass alumni have nothing but kind things to say about their Scandinavian predecessors. We also get to learn about their house pet, a gigantic pig that share the house with them. This all unfolds around some truly impressive scenery as they live in an interesting and beautiful part of the world that the cameras do a surprisingly good job of capturing in this movie. This is worth watching if you want to get a feeling for who these guys are and what they're all about but there are hopefully going to be more releases in the future that concentrate on their stunts. The physical comedy and daredevil antics are what make these guys so entertaining and while the biographical segments here are interesting enough, they don't have a lot of replay value and more of the funny stuff would have gone a long way to making this more enjoyable than it is. It's not that it's bad, it's just that it could have been so much more…

Video:

The fullframe image was shot on DV and not always under the most ideal shooting conditions so it doesn't have the depth or the detail of film but it still looks decent on this DVD. There is some flaring during where there is fire and where the are explosions and there are some mpeg compression artifacts present in a few of the darker scenes but aside from that, as far as shot on video sports/stunt material goes, the picture quality on this disc is fine.

Sound:

The Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround track is presented in English (the whole movie is spoken that way, there is no dubbing here) and aside from a few spots here and there, for the most part it is a clean, clear, well balanced track. The music never over powers the dialogue, levels are properly balanced, and there are no problems with hiss or distortion.

Extras:

In the supplements, there are a few choice extras that fans should get a kick out of. First up is the best part of the disc, which is an extra twenty minutes worth of stunt footage. While it would have been nice to see some of this material included in the movie itself, hey, at least it's here to enjoy in the supplements and this is where these guys really shine. Also included in here are a couple of other fun clips, the first of which documents The Dudeson's visit to the set of Viva La Bam!, the second of which is entitled Mad Mike Jones Vs. The Dudesons.

If you keep looking around on the disc, you'll find biographies for the guys, three different trailers, a photo gallery, a batch of music from the soundtrack for the film, and some Dudesons mobile fun stuff.

Last but not least is a commentary track with all four members of The Dudesons. They talk over each other a little too often but there is a lot of fun joking around in here in addition to some good natured ribbing and horseplay. Their enthusiasm for what they do is evident throughout this track and they seem to have had a blast getting all the footage together. They're able to elaborate here on a few of the stories that they touch on in the feature and they go into detail on a few of the stunts that we see clips of. If you enjoy their humor and their personalities, this track is well worth listening to.

Final Thoughts:

The Dudesons Movie, while not the best way to see their stunts based on the brevity of so many of the clips, provides some pretty interesting and often times hilarious Jackass style humor. The disc looks and sounds pretty good despite the shot on video origins of most of the material, and the extras give this package some added value as well. The disc comes recommended for acknowledged fans of this type of humor, and makes for a good rental for the curious masses.

Ian lives in NYC with his wife where he writes for DVD Talk, runs Rock! Shock! Pop!. He likes NYC a lot, even if it is expensive and loud.

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