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

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

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.