The Gods Must Be Crazy Movie Review

Film critics often use these words: "offbeat," "quirky," and "arty." Usually, adjectives like these are movie-critic code for "boring," "pseudo-intellectual," and "stupid." When you see these words in a movie review, that should signal to you that the film probably stinks.

The Gods Must Be Crazy is the rare exception, an offbeat movie that is also brilliant... though not for everyone. It's a little slow-paced, and the comedy is often silly, but if you want to see a movie that is entertaining, sometimes hilarious, and always unique, this is a good one.

Marius Weyers plays a white (South African, Rhodesian, or whatever) biologist who works in the African bush. He's a grown-up Boy Scout, good with machines, good with animals (rhinos, etc.), and good with people, including the Bushman tribes that live nearby, but lousy with women. Sandra Prinsloo is an improbably great-looking mission schoolteacher who causes Weyers' otherwise calm character to break into destructive, nervous attacks whenever she is onscreen. This premise is the excuse for long sequences of slapstick, which Weyers is very good at.

Meanwhile, the area is threatened by guerilla fighting, and a Bushman (played by N!xau, a real Bushman who speaks the click language of the San people) finds an empty Coke bottle and -- after his villagers begin to bicker over who gets to use this "amazing tool" -- then begins a hundred-mile journey to deliver it to its owner. Those are pretty much the only elements in the plot, but it's enough to work with, and the result is a thoughtful satire that pokes fun at African political chaos and Anglo fatuousness at the same time.

The Gods Must Be Crazy is slapstick with a message... and because the film is intelligent, it's one of the only slapstick comedies since the Marx Brothers that really works. It also works because Weyers is funny and likeable, and rhinos are funny animals. (Fans of the Animal Planet network will enjoy this movie, if they haven't already seen it.)

Some might complain that the film's treatment of the Bushmen is not too accurate -- Bushmen are not this clueless about the ways of the white man -- but most of the white characters in the movie are just as goofy, so the film's pretty even-handed in that respect. It's a perfect Sunday afternoon comedy, and now available on DVD along with its sequel.

Cast & Crew

Director :

Producer :


Comments

The Gods Must Be Crazy Rating

" Excellent "

Rating: PG, 1980

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