Johnny Kraaykamp is released from jail. His pal Rijk de Gooyer comes up with a plan to rent themselves out as handymen, especially since Johnny is able to fix anything with just one slap of...
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Johnny Kraaykamp is released from jail. His pal Rijk de Gooyer comes up with a plan to rent themselves out as handymen, especially since Johnny is able to fix anything with just one slap of his hands. After getting a loan and a phone-number from auntie Toetje (who runs a thinly disguised brothel in Amsterdam) the pair of them set to work. Things get complicated when a developer named Koster wants to buy out Toetje in order to build a parking garage just as the 'Geen Paniek' business is starting to boom. Written by
Johnny & Rijk (Kraaykamp & De Gooyer) had been performing comedy together since 1956 and had starred in several successful television series together, including a Dutch/German co-production before they ventured onto the big screen (with lackluster results) in "Geen Paniek".
Written by regular writer and beloved sketch comedy performer in his own right Kees van Kooten (based on ideas by Theo Joling and Gidi van Leimpd), "Geen Paniek" is an uneven hodgepodge that feels more like a series of sketches and improvisations than a coherent story. Johnny and Rijk go by their own names in the picture, even though Kraaykamp is depicted as an ex-jailbird. Starting off with a sight gag involving a prison tower, Johnny is released after serving a 5 year sentence and informed by Rijk that he cannot go back on TV because of his prison record. After borrowing money from Kraaykamp's auntie Toetje (Hetty Blok) they set themselves up as handymen, simply because Johnny has the uncanny ability to fix anything by way of a faux karate chop.
Aunt Toetje claims to run a massage parlor, which of course means it's a decadent Amsterdam brothel. Frans Kokshoorn appears as the villain of the piece, Koster, who wants to buy out dear old auntie and use the property to build a parking garage for the new Amsterdam Metro system. Two local crooks, Henkie (Hans Boskamp) and Rudolf (Ton Vos) catch wind of this and put the moves on Toetje to get their hands on the brothel instead. Meanwhile Johnny & Rijk's business is booming in a big way and since they are using Toetjes phone number to attract business, they have reason to stop her from selling the place as well. As if that wasn't enough, 'special guest star' Eddie Constantine also gets into the act as American businessman/gambler Silkstocking who claims to have only four months left to live.
Unfortunately none of these vaguely interconnected sub plots offer much in the way of laughs. Ko Koedijk's direction is sloppy and he seems to have allowed all the actors to add their own wacky ad-libs whenever they wanted to. Also notable is the complete lack of any nudity (a rare instance in a Dutch film) despite the abundance of pretty actresses portraying prostitutes. This once more leads one to the conclusion that Geen Paniek could just as well have been made for television at a lower budget. Perhaps the strangest twist comes at the end, when Johnny & Rijk start singing a song (aptly titled 'Geen Paniek') and the lyrics pop up on screen, enticing the audience to sing along (who says the Japanese invented Karaoke, eh?).
Although initially two more films starring the duo of J & R were planned, they never came to pass. Rijk declined to appear in "Heb Medelij, Jet!" (1975), preferring to act in slightly more serious films instead. Several of these co-starred Jon Bluming, who is also credited at the start of Geen Paniek, but appears to have been cut out completely. Johnny & Rijk did however both appear in Zwaarmoedige Verhalen Voor Bij De Centrale Verwarming" that same year but by that time it was clear their time as comedy partners were over. The pair of them teamed up again several times in later years, for instance in the sitcoms 'De Brekers' and 'Beppie'.
5 out of 10
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