Who would have predicted that the ultimate “dudes rock” movie would emerge from Kazakhstan? And yet here it is, in the year of our lord 2021. Crossing the shaggy dog “oh no, my wife’s gonna kill me” stylings of THE HANGOVER with the cartoonish violence of WHY DON’T YOU JUST DIE, blood-spattered Kazak comedy SWEETIE YOU WON’T BELIEVE IT is an absolute romp.
A pair of absolute bellends shanghai their hapless soon-to-be-a-father best friend from his pregnant-and-naggy missus, and head off for a day of fishing, friendship and beer. A moment of calm, safe from wagging fingers and emotional interrogations… a day that will be interrupted by three things: a family of psychotic perverts, a gaggle of inept gangsters, and an insane psychopath. Will they escape back in time for the birth? Will they retain the majority of their body parts?
This is director Yernar Nurgaliyev’s first foray into horror-comedy, and his high-energy, high-tempo approach to the goofy action left a big smile on my face. The joy of watching the three lads sink into hapless hysterical despair as their day gets worse and worse, and deadlier and deadlier, provides a comic engine that powers us through a zippy 85 minutes. The implicit sexism of the shrewish woman-back-home figure is leavened in turn by the characterization of just about every man in the story as being dumb-as-f*ck, and made to suffer for it. So kick back, pop open a beer, and listen to a tale as old as time – of bros, blades, and bloodloss. Sweetie, you won’t believe it.
Sweetie, You Won’t Believe It is playing at Canada’s Fantasia Film Festival on demand now. Also coming to Frightfest in the UK on Aug 28.