My Cat Persephone Wrote this Review on her Smartphone. It was better than Mine. .
The intermittently funny horror comedy action hybrid Get Duked gives you an excuse to stay home before some theaters reopen and everybody gets sick again. I’ve said it before. Do you really want to fall ill just to see the years-delayed release of New Mutants?
At least for 80-plus minutes you’ll be entertained, even if Get Duked is a shallow sugar rush of a movie that should be better than it actually is. For those of you who’ve always wanted to go to Scotland but were too lazy to get on a plane and now can’t because of travel restrictions, now you can look behind most of the principal actors at some lush rolling green hills as well as some lush rolling green sheep.
And sheep love you. But sheep don’t love Get Duked because of what went on behind the scenes during the filming of this movie. There were numerous violations of <REDACTED> in which the mayonnaise went bad and the sheep had an allergic reaction much like dogs and peanut butter.
But if you can get over that controversy, you might have a fun anarchic time getting Duked.
Get Duked opens with the introduction of three juvenile delinquents sentenced to be punished for breaking a bunch of minor laws. Let’s meet them even though they’re a bunch of annoying a**holes.
- Dean (Rian Gordon)- He’s kind of a f*ckup constantly in trouble with his teachers because he doesn’t take anything seriously and will probably end up dead or posting recipes on some alt-right website.
- Duncan (Lewis Gribben)- He’s even more of a f*ckup, but he’s one of those loud and obnoxious ones that you wish would die after only 5 minutes of screen time. You wonder if his full name is Duncan Galifianakis or Duncan Weaselly.
- DJ Beatroot (Viraj Juneja) – He’s a rapper whose DJ name is full of antioxidants. He likes rapping about his genitals, or Dj-enitals.
They must complete something called Duke of Edinburgh Award because they menace society on the regular and we’re just looking for one weekend of peace. The DEA involves them traipsing along the Scottish Highlands for a day without any modern conveniences. They will learn teamwork and how to navigate their way in and about nature.
Their teacher Mr. Carlyle (Jonathan Aris) says it’s a big honor to complete and accept the award, but the guys could care less.
There’s another person who volunteered to complete the DEA. His name is Ian (Samuel Bottomley) and he’s excited to complete the award because it looks good on his college applications and he has no friends and has never talked to a girl he wasn’t related to.
Their forced partnership will be tested as there looks to be some chilly weather coming in. Good thing Dean brought mushrooms and hash and other illicit pills to keep everybody warm.
Looking down on them from a hill is a man (Eddie Izzard) wearing a mask made of human skin. At least it looks a lot like human skin or it could just be beige. He’s seen the boys traveling the countryside and with his trusty rifle and his equally, um, enthusiastic wife (Georgie Glen), he’ll make sure the boys have an award they’ll never forget.
If they live through it.
Meanwhile, there’s a bread thief plaguing Scotland and police officer Sergeant Morag (Kate Dickey) and her underling whose name I’ve forgotten will make it their mission to get to the bottom of this so no Scots-person will butter an empty plate again. Their investigation leads them to the Highlands, where stolen dough may be the least of their problems…
What Works With Get Duked
- Prevenge’s Alice Lowe’s cameo as “Superintendent” is the funniest sustained scene in a movie where 90% of the jokes are hit-and-miss. The combination of both dialogue and physical comedy is what’s missing for a good portion of Get Duked. If most of the movie were as funny as Lowe’s scene, you’d really have something worth watching.
- Eddie Izzard and Georgie Glen shine in smaller-than-you’d-hope parts as a couple bent on keeping the countryside in order even if it means killing a few kids. In their few minutes of screentime, you get a genuine sense of menace and some hints of dark humor. In retrospect, you wish the movie were more about them instead of the four teenage d*cks.
- I was wrong. The “bus” moment gets the biggest laugh of the entire movie. It’s the only moment in Get Duked where the audience genuinely laughs out loud.
What Doesn’t Work With Get Duked
- It’s rarely a good thing in a horror movie when the audience actually wants the main characters to die because they’re such dreadful people to be spending so much screen time with. Not saying that all characters need to be likable, but it’s not helpful that it doesn’t take too long before you’re rooting for the ostensible villains to kill Dean, Duncan, and DJ Beatroot. You feel bad for the Ian character for most of the movie, and not because he’s being hunted by old people with guns.
- A musical number, yes, a musical number that goes on way too long. Get Duked is a shade over 80 minutes long, but it’s interminable sequences like this that make it feel 30 minutes longer. Is the music bad? No, but it keeps droning on way past the point of audience fatigue.
If you see a bite-sized comedy this week, see Bill and Ted Face the Music. After you’ve seen that a couple of times, maybe check out Get Duked. With lowered expectations, you might not feel like it’s a waste of time.