klown_2Year: 2016
Director(s): Mikkel Norgaard
Writer(s): Casper Christensen, Frank Hvam
Region of Origin: Denmark

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Rating: Unrated
Color, 99 mins

Synopsis: Frank and Casper’s friendship is put to a test, when Casper decides to leave Denmark to pursue a solo career in Los Angeles. (Source)

Do penis jokes, bawdy sex, racist caricatures and perverse hook-ups make you uncomfortable? That’s the point in Mikkel Norgaard’s Klown Forever, continuing further into the riotous misadventures of Danish misfits, Frank Hvam and Casper Christensen. This latest chapter finds both stars taking their cringe-comedy stateside, taking on Hollywood with one of the most lewd and crude bromances ever put together. Nothing and no-one is safe as their friendship is tested, leaving behind them a wake of jilted lovers, strange bedfellows and bad decisions which never have a problem racing past any lines of propriety for a few anxious laughs. Hvam and Christensen’s brand of humor is definitely not for everyone, but if you’re already on board, then this latest film is a guilty pleasure that finds the duo more twisted and outrageous than ever.

It’s been five years since we’ve last seen Frank and Casper. Frank is now a father of two and Casper is single, still trying to bed every woman he meets. Though some things have stayed the same, their friendship is dwindling and Frank finds himself torn between his best friend and familial obligations. The two also have also written a book about their exploits, due to be published if only they would take time to read and approve the final draft. With Casper feeling alienated by Frank’s domesticity, he brashly picks everything up and moves to Hollywood, trying to start anew. When Frank finds out about this through a newspaper article, he’s distraught, especially after a reading of their book rekindles how much Casper meant to him. Frank desperately follows Casper to Hollywood in order to win him back, and of course, chaos ensues.

Like the last film, this one works as an intro into Frank and Casper’s demented world, while also hooking long-time fans by focusing on the duo’s relationship (without playing second-fiddle to all the rude antics). The writing does feel a bit more nuanced this time, with straight-faced humor that never feels like a succession of sketches, but moments which navigate Frank and Casper’s estranged relationship with sadistic glee. Frank and Casper, again, aren’t afraid to make themselves look like fools with self-effacing laughs, which also parallel their self-destructive behavior. Like them, we’re addicted to trouble, and the more we feel like we’re witnessing something we shouldn’t be seeing, the funnier things get. Featuring gags that revolve around a drowning baby, a great dane, a misplaced dreamcatcher and a disgusting marital solution to infidelity (just to name a few), the film has no shortage of twisted imagination. When the story’s climax literally careens into the ocean at the end, we’ve seen it all, a corrosive cocktail of highly offensive amusement with fleeting moments of tenderness thrown in unexpectedly.

klown_1If the film’s success can be attributed to a single facet, however, it’s that of Frank and Casper’s chemistry. The entire story plays off of their physical or mental isolation from one another, so when they find a groove, it’s that much more satisfying. In fact, Frank and Casper as so good together, you could watch them sit around and talk about nothing while still being totally entertained. Frank Hvam, this time out, shows a deeper insecurity, still the film’s beating heart and pining for his best friend. There’s something innately hilarious at how lost he is by himself, and how he always has to take the fall for Casper’s whims. Casper Christensen is as much of a lovable dirtbag as ever, stooping lower than low in his quest for debauchery, and yet, we can’t bring ourselves to look away. These two really are perfect for each other. There are some fun cameos along the way, with Isla Fisher, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Adam Levine playing themselves, while Simone Colling plays Casper’s daughter, Cille, stealing a few scenes of her own.

Known Forever isn’t fixing what isn’t broke, nor does it have to. It fiercely sticks to its strengths, namely the offbeat chemistry between Frank and Casper and the limitless possibilities of how much trouble they can get in to. This is low-brow comedy of the highest order, and depraved escapism that’s oddly affecting underneath it all. Check any reservations at the door and let the lunacy wash over you.

SG