What fresh MERDE is this?
A manic, gasping coke-fueled farce, “The Misadventures of Hedi and Cokeman” is the French anti-stoner comedy.
As in, Cheech & Chong and Harold & Kumar never ever got this worked up.
Raging, guffawing, punching and tumbling, insulting and slapsticking, it’s about two loser druggies who finally get the chance to make bank via drug dealing. But little in their half-assed, semipro experience in the trade has prepared them for this.
I mean, you name yourself “Cokeman” (Nassim Lyes, who co-wrote the script), bounce around as if you’re one-toot-shy-of-an-overdose and venture out in public in a stocking cap, fur coat and urine-stained untidy whiteys, it’s not like the cops aren’t going to notice.
Cokeman is the sort of maniac who blusters and threatens and flips-out on everybody who comes to his door. Are you…the COKEman?
“C’mon over here, aardvark face!” is funny, in French or in English subtitles. Drugs? Sure, lemme scrape a little white paint off my fridge. Are you high yet, “expert?”
Dude’s nose is bleeding, he’s hallucinating and has no idea he’s just snorted paint. Is it supposed to be like this?
“Quit THINKING, bro. It’s bad for your high.”
His always-beaten-up, hapless Franco-Algerian pal Hedi (Zappa-nosed Hedi Bouchenafa) drops in and they’re off to his “gold digger” sister Zlatana’s (Nina Kepekian) wedding to a rich drug lord, Arsène van Gluten (Fred Testot). Zlantana bullies her new spouse into giving the boys a gig.
They’ll move his weed for him. But not that weak Zeub Zebi stuff. Noooo. “Mojo Mango,” Zlatana insists.
What can go wrong? Pretty much everything. But as they get more chances to make this work, recruit street-corner dealers to work for them, get a little money and get greedier for more, we know they’re headed for a fall because we just know they Paris police are going to notice.
“Van Gluten won’t be ‘sticking’ around for long!'” as one Caruso-loving cop crows.
“Misadventures,” titled “En Passant Pécho: Les Carottes Sont Cuites” in French, is just exhausting. But as it pounds away at one-liner insults, drug consumption gags, sight gags (Tommy Chong-sized blunts) and slapstick — a blind dude with a beef comes after them with an RPG — as Lyes’ maniac laughs grow louder and more insistent, as Viagra-fueled violence enters the fray, it wears you down.
It even wears down the cast. One hilarious bit has veteran character actor Testot, as a drug lord who employs singing, dancing “Zulus” as his security, just snapso.
“Why did I AGREE to this stupid movie? I’m so ASHAMED.”
Not that this gets him off with his “Zulus.” They don’t like being called “Zulus,” for starters. This movie isn’t paying them enough to take that racist crap, they will have us know.
As characters “break the fourth wall” and break up a police raid, “Misadventures” takes on the air of many a “no rules” comedy that came before it — “Kentucky Fried Movie” all the way back to “Hellzapoppin.” Not that it’s in their league, just in their style.
Wearing it may be, but a dozen chuckles and half a dozen big laughs make this French farce almost worth the subtitles.
MPA Rating: TV-MA, lots and lots of drugs, violence, profanity
Cast: Hedi Bouchenafa, Nassim Lyes, Fred Testot, Julie Ferrier, Thomas Guy
Credits: Directed by Julien Hollande, script by Julien Hollande, Nassim Lyes. A Netflix release.