Klown Forever
Drafthouse Films // R // $39.95 // December 13, 2016
Review by Ian Jane | posted January 2, 2017
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Recommended
E - M A I L
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R E V I E W S
Graphical Version

The Movie:

Klown Forever, the second feature film spun off from the Danish TV series Klown, once again catches up with best friends Frank (Frank Hvam) and Casper (Casper Christensen). Frank's life has become more domesticated in the last few years. His marriage to Mia (Mia Lyhne) has started to fray a bit now that they've got two young kids, while Casper refuses to grow up. Their book, however, is expected to be a hit. This makes it sting all the more when Casper surprisingly splits for Los Angeles without Frank. When Mia's parents move in to help with the kids, Frank takes this as his sign that he should head to the States to rekindle his friendship with Casper.

Of course, once Frank arrives, he finds out that Casper has rented out a fancy place in the Hollywood hills next door to Isla Fisher (playing herself). He's also moved on to a new best friend who he refers to as Battle Cat. However, Frank's arrived in time for Casper's planned ‘Great Dane Party' where he'll announce his arrival in Hollywood by hosting a gala affair complete with a giant dog. Getting the dog proves to be fun, particularly once the two hook up with the ladies who run the shelter, but it quickly heads south from there. Before you know it Frank has insulted Adam Levine (who appears in the film as himself), slept with Casper's pretty daughter Cille (Simone Colling) and mightily pissed off the friend he travelled all this way to reconcile with in the first place.

Klown Forever is okay. It's not nearly as funny as the first movie but neither is it a complete waste of time. Much of the humor is predictable but there are enough genuine surprises here and effective running gags that occur throughout the movie that you'll probably find a few good laughs. Most of the film's success stems from the chemistry that Hvam and Christensen have together. Even when they're just sort of sitting around bickering they're amusing to watch and you know that no matter what, their characters will reconcile. There are a lot of crass jokes here (some of them REALLY crass… watch the trailer for the dog bit if you haven't seen it yet and that'll give you a pretty good idea of what you're in for), but the movie has enough heart to keep you intrigued even if you know exactly how it's going to end and why.

Hvam and Christensen do the fish out of water thing well, Hvam in particular. Casper may not always ‘get' Hollywood but he fits in well enough while Frank is fairly clueless about all of this, mainly because he doesn't seem to care about figuring it all out. He's in L.A. because of Casper, not because he really wants to be. He's then manipulated by a few different people until everything has become a complete train wreck, and while he brings much of this on himself you can't help but feel bad for the guy once it's all settled.

The movie is nicely shot. It's fairly colorful and does a nice job of showcasing locations in Hollywood and in Denmark alike. The soundtrack is bouncy enough and quirky enough to fit the storyline and the pacing is pretty decent as the film never overstays its welcome or feels particularly padded. The movie is well made and well put together. It's just that, again, it's all fairly predictable. Funny enough and populated with two likeable characters, but fairly unsurprising in what it delivers and when it delivers it.

The Blu-ray:

Video:

Klown Foreverarrives on a 25GB Blu-ray disc in an AVC encoded 1.85.1 widescreen 1080p high definition transfer that looks pretty spiffy. Detail is good here but the movie is shot reality TV style in faux documentary format with the use of a lot of handheld cameras and such. It never gets too shaky the way some found footage horror movies do but there are moments that like less than ‘a perfect film transfer' than others because of it. This works in the context of the story being told, however. Black levels are nice, colors look good, texture is fine and there aren't any transfer related oddities like heavy noise reduction or edge enhancement of note. All in all, yeah, this looks just fine on Blu-ray.

Sound:

The Danish language DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio track is a good one though like most comedies it never really gets into ‘demo material' mode. Most of what makes up the movie is dialogue but there are plenty of instances throughout the movie where the surrounds spring to life, be it to spread out the score or play with some effects. Levels are nicely balanced, dialogue is crisp and clear and the English subtitles are easy to read and free of any obvious typos. An optional Danish language DTS-HD 2.0 Stereo track is also included. Note that large stretches of the film are delivered in English. For these scenes the English subtitles do NOT appear on the screen (and there's no SDH option provided).

Extras:

Extras are made up of a selection of deleted scenes, a trailer for the feature, trailers for a few other Drafthouse Films properties and three episodes of the Danish TV series on which this movie (and the first movie) was based. Additionally, this is a combo pack release meaning that it comes with a DVD version of the movie containing the same extras as well as an insert card containing a download code for a digital HD version of the film. Also included inside the clear Blu-ray keepcase is a color booklet containing some promotional stills as well as credits for the feature and the Blu-ray release.

Final Thoughts:

Klown Forever is funny but so too is it pretty predictable. Fans of the TV series and first film will no doubt get a kick out of seeing the characters again, and there is some undeniable appeal in that. Drafthouse has done a nice job bringing the movie to Blu-ray, it looks and sounds just fine. The movie itself is worth seeing, but far from a new comedy classic. Recommended for Klown fans, a good rental choice for the curious masses.



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