K3, the popular hot-pants and miniskirt wearing trio of Belgian singers who's first names all start with the letter K (Kathleen, Karen & Kristel) star in their first motion picture. Since their music is aimed solely at the smallest, girliest of consumers (read: their parents) and written by their producers Samson en Gert (Verbiest & Verhulst), who may collectively be remembered as the Belgian Walt Disney in years to come (they already have a theme park), this movie was a sure fire hit. Like the Monkees, K3 go by their own names, live and sleep together and perform songs while remaining a struggling band (at least in the world this movie creates). Unlike the Spice Girls, this film knows where it's audience lies and has no trouble reaching it. Surprisingly, the girls don't perform much music at all: only three numbers, all of which are used as background music.
Phoney Italian crook Frederico Gazpacho (Peter Rouffaer) wants to get his hands on an ancient Egyptian 'Washabi' Medallion, which just happens to be hidden away in the house of the late adventurer and architect who found the amulet, and I bet you can guess which threesome are just about to move into that faithful house. Kristel (the dark haired one) picks up a "Mega Macy" comic book, which not only foreshadows things to come but is also an excuse to give the entire film a comic book look, complete with stylish black and white panels substituting for scene changes (did I mention Samson & Gert publish comic books of all the children's entertainers in their stable, including K3). Naturaly the three of them find the amulet hidden in a wall almost immediately and, unaware of it's powers, Kathleen (the blond one) decides to wear it around her neck.
Gazpacho sends his two silly henchmen to get the hidden treasure: Rode Tijger (Eddy Vereycken) is the dumb fat one who never shuts up, Zwarte Panter (Daisy Ip) is the Chinese girl who never speaks and who's Kung Fu is, shall we say, not all that impressive. The magic amulet grants wishes, and each time one of the girls happens to make one, little animated gold stars do their handy work. About half way through, Dutch loud mouth and incredibly gay comedian Paul de Leeuw makes his first appearance as the Genie of the Medaillon, painted gold and spitting out thought balloons and animated letters all over the place. You can see right through him, and it looks like all of his scenes were filmed separately. This makes me wonder if he ever met K3 during filming at all. De Leeuw is even more unbelievably loud and annoying than usual, because for some reason every European children's movie has to include at least one of these hyperactive character. Luckilly, his scenes are kept to a bare minimum.
Kathleen wishes to be a princess. Karin (the redheaded one) wants to fly and Kristel asks for a mega-bike like Mega Macey. Soon they have spent 98 of their 100 wishes, and that's the moment the Genie chooses to explain the 100 wish limit. It's also the moment the nasties choose to reveal their dastardly intentions to the girls, forcing Kristel to use the penultimate wish to turn all three of them into Mega Macey (Kristel in Yellow, Kathleen in red and Karen in blue). The special effects, cinematography and production design are quite impressive by Studio 100 standards, even the script by Samson & Gert is funnier than their usual material, patented for the K3 audience of pre teenager girls. Although the running time of the film is less than an hour (including credits), I believe a short film starring another Verhulst/Verbiest franchise was featured as an appetizer: Piet Piraat, who's movie resume at the time of this writing is a tie with the K3 girls: two each. There's also a superhero spin off television series called "Mega Mindy". Samson & Gert truly are unstoppable.
8 out of 10
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