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Bennie, a clumsy criminal who's touchy about his weight, teams up with his adoptive father's biological (serial killer) son, his employees who in his absence turned his snack-bar into a quiche bakery, a suicidal manic-depressive woman and a Yougoslavian who keeps blowing things up unintended. They need to get 300000 Euro to get Bennies father a new liver. Complicating matters are that Bennie is being stalked by gangsters who want him to pay back a debt, the employees are more interested in cooking than in criminality, nobody can communicate with the Yugoslavian, the adoptive and biological son don't get along, and everything that can go wrong does go wrong - leaving a path of damaged buildings, people and - especially - vehicles behind. Written by
In the boxing scene, Lars Meuleman's opponent is named Andrew Malkin, after Laurence Malkin, the director of Soul Assassin (2001). This film is playing in the movie theater Bennie's stolen car crashes into. See more »
When Bennie rams his car into Lars Meuleman, the hair of cinematographer Rolf Dekens can be seen behind one of the car's windows. See more »
The credits during the title sequence consist of brick constructions falling down and landing in the middle of the screen before falling further down, complete with dust effects. The final title, ''Vet hard'', cracks and collapses slightly when the title sequence finishes. See more »
"Vet Hard", a remake of the Danish movie "Old men in new cars", is one of the very few action movies to come out of the Netherlands, and because of this it was received quite enthusiastically by the Dutch press. For once, the Dutch press was actually right. While it certainly isn't very original, it's a lot more fun than the somewhat awkward Danish original, and it's a great action comedy in its own right.
The story of "Vet Hard" revolves around ex-con Benny, who, upon getting out of jail, discovers that his friend and mentor Mast is terminally ill, and can only be saved by a new liver. Together with Mast's necrophiliac son and a girl who takes the term "femme fatale" a little too seriously (she constantly tries to kill herself) he tries his best to obtain the precious organ to save him, which leads to lots of car chases, random destruction and slapstick violence.
This kind of thing has been done dozens of times before, but not often this well. Just about everything works in this movie. First of all, it's very fast-paced, with the action sequences and jokes succeeding each other rapidly. The action is decidedly over-the-top, with lots of cartoony violence, people getting crushed under falling objects, etc. It all works perfectly since the movie fortunately doesn't take itself seriously at all. There are lots of very politically incorrect jokes (hey, it's a Dutch movie, what did you expect) that some might consider tasteless, but somehow the vast majority of the jokes work, and the amount of real "toilet humor" (as often seen in American comedies) is kept to a minimum. As an added bonus, many celebrity Dutchmen/women appear in cameos, and often meet their end in gruesome and hilarious manners.
On top of that, the actors all do a very good job. Jack Wouterse is great as the main character Benny, Bracha van Doesburgh makes a great debut as the suicidal girl, and even typical soap/teen movie actors like Kurt Rogiers and Johhny de Mol do a decent enough job. The funniest character, however, is eastern-European handyman Vuk (Peter van den Begin), who constantly manages to short-circuit, immolate, or blow up things (or people, for that matter). It's not sophisticated, but it works.
Well, what else is there to say? This certainly isn't a deep or thought-provoking movie, or one that you will remember for years, so there's really not that much more to talk about. Suffice it to say that "Vet Hard" succeeds marvelously at what it attempts to do, and while it lasts its damned fine entertainment.
***1/2 out of *****
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