Kick n’ Rush (2 ryk og 1 aflevering its Danish title) is essentially a typical teen movie made in the West; this one just happens to be in a pretty language (if you like Dansk), and this is the only thing that kept me from stopping long before the end (I’m trying to learn Dansk, so I will watch whatever I can to help me along).
Auteur Aage Rais-Nordentoft directs Jacob (Jacom Karup), Bo (Cyron Bjorn Melville), and Mikkel (Esben Smed Jensen) in a coming of age film that shows of a couple of weeks as their friendships—apparently lengthy—begin to crumble. They are all soccer players. They spend their time breaking into summer homes to drink, watch movies, and talk about girls and buxom movie stars. It is here that the friendships take a turn. Bo leaves the other two for a party. This leaves Jacob and Mikkel miffed.
Bo is touched of God and their coach, also Jacob’s father (Niels Ellegaard) discovers that scouts will be coming to observe Bo. The coach tells Jacob to keep Bo away from anything that might deter his abilities the next day. Jacob begins to do this and, for reasons I will avoid, decides not to. From here, Jacob manages to mess up his relationship with a girl he is chasing, Mathilde (Marie Bach Hansen), Mikkel’s younger sister, and Mikkel. The film covers more of these moments of disintegration and of some resolutions. I will give away nothing in case someone is interested.
The only thing that made it different from the mass of American teenage movies is the lack of crassness. This is the age group that comes just before all the American Pie crap. A Frontline documentary whose name I forget refers to this group of young “men” as Mooks. Jacob, Bo, and Mikkel are petty criminals at their worst but they never get to the Mook stage; they never even try.
This lack of, well, potty humor makes Kick n’ Rush more mature, but it doesn’t make the movie good, just better than an American counterpart.
It is amazing what will be called a coming of age film. I described this in a review for Spetters. Kick n’ Rush as I mention above is a true coming of age film. The three principles are morphing into different creatures, or at least different levels of emotional maturity. Unfortunately this and the lack of the Mook factor do not save the film.
This type of film is as common as dust and there is nothing in this one (beyond a pretty cast and a pretty language) to recommend it.
What follows is a brief personal take on this kind of film—ugh, some of it is going to make me sound like a horrible old man (exactly the kind adults were when I was watching teen flicks).
The only ensemble teen film that has stood the test of time for my (1980s) generation is Sixteen Candles. It is as funny today as it was when I saw it at 15. Of the whole slew of John Hughes films and wanabees, only that one stands out. To be blunt, it is the only one that doesn’t make me feel embarrassed to have been a teenager.
If you are near my age, meaning you could drive in the middle 80s or thereabouts, you will remember The Breakfast Club. I and my friends had hours of discussions going over what seemed like every frame of the film. It was profound, moving, a film that would define a generation.
I watched it at 21 and thought I was going to puke. What was so profound just a few years later became nauseatingly stupid. What happened in an upper middle class suburban Chicago neighborhood was now just a group of poseurs whose problems weren’t problems at all.
Others may argue that I am skipping two films: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Pretty in Pink. I leave them out of this otherwise list of horrible movies because they don’t fit. Ferris is a comedy that works as a comedy for any age—it did at the time and still does. I find the same things funny now as I did when I saw it originally. Pink was not an ensemble movie like Candles and especially Breakfast. Ducky went after Andie in all the ways he could. It was a movie made for Cyndi Lauper. It can also work today as a paramour movie like hundreds that went before.
For people my age, these films stopped with Less than Zero. It was a fitting end. The age it came to was not either losing your virginity or morphing into something mature. The age it came to was whatever age you want to call terminal. What was fun and funny and minus responsibility even just 6-7 years before caught up with this crowd. Despite the cast again being the spoiled rich, the message that youth doesn’t last and that responsibility tossed aside will catch up with you—it never tires, but you do.
Every generation needs these films though. Without them (and without those horrible pictures our parents insist on keeping around) it would be harder for us to realize 1) how far most of us have come and 2) just how silly things are now that seemed so important then. I suppose in its own way, watching a film like The Breakfast Club and running to the toilet to yak is a coming of age film—just not one that Mr. Hughes intended.
What did you think of this review?