13-year-old Gunther Strobbe grows up surrounded by alcohol, trash and his completely useless father and uncles. Slowly but surely, he's being prepared for the same hapless life. Can he defy his destiny?
Felix van Groeningen
Koen De Graeve
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Growing up in the Flemish part of Belgium, "Suske en Wiske" has always remained a classic in my comic book collection and is now a part of nostalgia bringing me back to my childhood. After having seen a quite poor live action film (although sometimes so bad it's funny) about "Suske en Wiske", I wasn't sure what to expect from this animation film.
Having just seen it, I must say that it was a very interesting yet somehow confusing experience. The plot felt really in touch with the old Suske and Wiske comics, although there's a bizarre thing going on with the age group this film is suitable for. Often the humor seems to be aimed at the level of a 6- or 8-year-old level, yet the bar dance scene seems way too sexy to let anyone who isn't a teen yet watch it (kids shouldn't be having sexy thoughts :-p). This somewhat confuses me. Overall this film seems to be targeted at young children mostly, and even if they don't get the sexual innuendo, I still think it's inappropriate.
Another thing that confuses me is the Mexican stereotype. Now I understand that this was humor that was perfectly OK when the comic book was originally released, but in this day and age of political correctness and mass migration it seems pretty bizarre to find such a stereotype in a recent animation film and especially not in a country as socialist as Belgium.
Although the main characters seem fairly loyal to the characters in the original comic strip, it still feels weird to see them in 3D and the weird mixture of target groups for the different parts of the film, the racial stereotype, the sexual innuendo of the dance scene, the strange personalities of the main characters (for anyone not familiar with the comic books), the almost satirical product placements and several other aspects of this film, I seriously wonder what foreigners would think of this film if they ever get to see it dubbed or subtitled in their language.
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