Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Now on Netflix: The 101-Year-Old Man Who Skipped Out on the Bill and Disappeared (2017)

The 101-Year-Old Man Who Skipped Out on the Bill and Disappeared (2017) - Directed by Felix Herngren, Mans Herngren; Written by Felix Herngren, Hans Ingemansson; Starring Robert Gustafsson, Jens Hulten, Caroline Boulton.

By Kenny Howell

A terrific idea for a screwball roadtrip isn't totally realized in this Swedish comedy.

101-Year-Old Allen sets out on a mission to find something possibly worth millions of dollars. Back during the Cold War, Russia was trying to find ways to compete culturally with the United States. Everyone liked American rock music, clothes and food, that Russia was afraid they were going to fall behind because they didn't have any of that.

The Russians tried rock music, but it failed, so they turned to soda to compete with Coke and Pepsi. By accident, they come up with the best tasting soda in the world, something called Folksoda. However, since the collapse of the USSR and by an agreement with the US, Folksoda has disappeared.

But the recipe is out there, and Allen heads out to try to find out. What should be a rollicking adventure (to be fair, it is sometimes) doesn't really pan out. It does to some funny places, especially with the inclusion of Richard Nixon and Leonid Brezhnev. There is just something about the deadpan Swedish comedic style and the idea of a full on over the top screwball comedy that doesn't quite mix. Allen, played by Robert Gustafsson, is extremely deadpan and in kind of bad aged makeup, and it just doesn't gel well. However, the movie wraps up quite well, and the climax is quite funny. It just feels like they should have been able to go a lot farther with it.

The 101-Year-Old Man Who Skipped Out on the Bill and Disappeared is now streaming on Netflix.

Rating: **1/2


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