FANTASIA 2017: Ron Goossens, Low-Budget Stuntman Directed by Steffen Haars and Flip Van der Kuil
Starring Tim Haars, Bo Maerten, Michiel Romeyn
Published Jul 26, 2017Considering it's entirely made up of cheap laughs, the jokes on display in Ron Goossens, Low-Budget Stuntman sure look expensive. Steffen Haars and Flip Van der Kuil, the filmmakers in charge of the wildly popular New Kids series, have turned the lens on the Dutch film industry with a meta-comedy that, unfortunately, is mostly terrible.
Here's the plot summary, which makes Paul Blart sound like The Godfather: The absolutely unlikeable Ron Goossens (Tim Haars) is a piss tank alcoholic who drunkenly crashes his car into a canal. Footage of the incident goes viral, and he's recruited into the struggling film industry as a "low-budget stuntman." Meanwhile, he learns his wife has been sleeping with just about everyone in his town because she's bored of him. For absolutely no good reason at all, she decides she'll only stay with him if he's able to bed megastar Bo Maerten (playing herself), thus spurring him to pursue the stuntman career. Yes, it's really that dumb.
Dutch filmmakers are known for their willingness to flip off conventions of taste, refusing to partake in the zeitgeist's consensus sensitivity. It's the "equal opportunity offender" mantra — these guys are willing to make fun of everything and anything, just to stick it to those stinkin' SJWs online!
The cultural significance of transgressive humour might be worthy of discussion in some scenarios, but the offensive "jokes" in this movie come across as if they were written by a 10-year-old in the 1980s. In one scene, a black man is told that he looks like a monkey. In another scene, a woman suggests that a man is gay because he wants to go for ice cream. Lines like these are so unspeakably stupid that they command little more than a dejected groan from the deepest recess of one's being.
It's not exactly the sort of movie worth defending, but it is worth saying that there are some excellent sight gags in the film, most of which involve Goossens falling off of buildings or being thrown through windows. The slapstick is strong, in part, because of how well it's produced, but also because it's slightly harder to express racism, homophobia or misogyny through physical comedy. (That said, one of the film's most violent scenes takes place while Goossens is in full blackface.)
If you've ever wondered what would happen if a real director took a crack at one of the non-Sandler Happy Madison movies, you may as well watch Ron Goossens, Low-Budget Stuntman — it looks like a pristine Nick Swardson movie. If only Steffen and Flip had put the same amount of effort into their script as they did the shots.
(Kaap Holland Film)