Wah Do Dem

"Excellent"

Wah Do Dem Review


This scruffy and offhanded comedy-drama has a certain realistic charm that keeps us smiling all the way trough. It's a cleverly made film with a story that continually moves forward, taking us on an enjoyable series of adventures.

Slacker musician Max (Bones) is looking forward to a freebie Caribbean cruise with his girlfriend Willow (Jones), but she breaks up with him just before they're due to leave. Max's friends insist that he goes anyway, although all of them are too busy to travel with him. Bored on his own, he jumps ship when he gets to Jamaica. But this turns into a bigger challenge than expected when he's robbed of everything but his swim-trunks and has to traverse the island on foot to find the American Embassy.

The title is Jamaican patois for "what they do", and the filmmakers' relaxed, documentary-style approach disguises the skilful directing and editing. And much of the dialog feels realistically off the cuff, with awkward pauses and throwaway lines that reveal the jagged attitudes even of smaller one-scene characters. The sequence on the ship is like a short film all its own, with tiny dramas and hilarious encounters with random passengers. And the journey across Jamaica is packed with offbeat interaction with the locals, including a musical rave and impromptu football match.

Through it all, Bones creates a terrifically likeable character. Even though he mopes through most of the film, he's still charming and mischievous (Twilight filmmakers take note), as well as open to the experiences that come his way. We sympathise when he does something stupid and really feel his loneliness as he travels on his own. And the people he meets on his trip are funny and friendly, and also a little exciting as they're a break from his normal routine.

As it progresses, the film's gently loping pace and endearing characters thoroughly win us over. And it's all underscored with some terrific music. This isn't really a coming-of-age film, as Max doesn't learn any big lessons. But the lack of moralising makes it all the more refreshing. Essentially it's just an eye-opening series of encounters that broaden this young guy's worldview.

And ours too, perhaps.



Wah Do Dem

Facts and Figures

Genre: Dramas

Run time: 76 mins

In Theaters: Saturday 20th June 2009

Distributed by: IFC Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 72%
Fresh: 13 Rotten: 5

IMDB: 6.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Ben Chace, Sam Fleischner

Producer: Ben Chace, Sam Fleischner, Katina Faye Hubbard

Starring: Sean Bones as Max, as Willow, as Mystic Man

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

The latest adaptation of Agatha Christie's 83-year-old classic whodunit, this lavish, star-studded film is old-style...

Paddington 2 Movie Review

Paddington 2 Movie Review

The first Paddington movie in 2014 is already such a beloved classic that it's hard...

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

Everyone's back from last year's undemanding adult comedy, plus some starry new cast members, for...

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Filmmaker S. Craig Zahler brought a blast of offbeat creativity to the Western genre two...

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

Fans of the film In the Loop and the TV series Veep will definitely not...

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Set in northern Italy in the summer of 1983, this internationally flavoured drama is a...

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

The most riotously enjoyable Marvel movie yet, this action epic benefits hugely from the decision...

Advertisement
Breathe Movie Review

Breathe Movie Review

While this biopic has the standard sumptuous production values of a British period drama, it's...

The Snowman Movie Review

The Snowman Movie Review

With a cast and crew packed with A-list talent, this film seems like it should...

The Party Movie Review

The Party Movie Review

Comedies don't get much darker than this pitch-black British movie, written and directed by Sally...

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) is on his way to becoming the new Woody Allen, which...

6 Below Movie Review

6 Below Movie Review

Based on an astonishing true survival story, this film is subtitled "Miracle on the Mountain",...

Mother Movie Review

Mother Movie Review

Darren Aronofsky doesn't make fluffy movies, and has only had one genuine misfire (2014's Noah)....

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

It's been 35 years since Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic, which was set in 2019....

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.