Published May 20, 2016It's been over a decade since veteran screenwriter Anders Thomas Jensen released his previous directorial effort, Adam's Apples. Stepping behind the camera once again for Men & Chicken, however, it's clear that he hasn't missed a beat.
The film is a dark comedy that follows cleft-lipped half brothers Gabriel (David Dencik) and Elias (Mads Mikkelsen), who go on a journey to discover the real story of their birth parents. It's a familiar conceit, to be sure, but little else about Men & Chicken is ordinary. The men possess quirks that might be hokey in a lesser film (Gabriel is constantly dry-heaving, while Elias can't go half an hour without jacking off), but their strange activities fit into the larger plot here.
Eventually, Gabriel and Elias meet a trio of other ridiculous half brothers living in a dilapidated, dusty old mansion that's overrun with livestock and rotting cheese. These men beat the shit out of each other with blunt objects and practice sex moves on chickens while they await their chance to meet females; their birth father supposedly lives upstairs in a barricaded room, while the basement holds all sorts of sordid secrets.
It might sound like a random assortment of gross-out gags, and Men & Chicken occasionally feels that way, but those who follow through to the end will be satisfied with its delightfully twisted conclusion. The film's a fucked-up fairy tale, and one of the strangest comedies we've seen in a long while.
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