In a beautiful written piece for the New York Times, Trevor Noah paints a picture of his childhood with his mother

M-Net officially turns 30 years old today – celebrating three decades of bringing viewers across the African continent premium TV content


2008-06-20 15:41
What it's about:

Shortly before their end of school dance, first team rugby star Werner (Altus Theart) dumps his pretty and popular girlfriend Katrien (Cherie van der Merwe). She makes a bet with her friends that she can get school nerd Wimpie Koekemoer (Ivan Botha) into the first team to replace Werner and teach him a lesson.

What we thought of it:

Cross lowbrow teen comedy American Pie with decades old local TV and the unhappy malformed result will be Bakgat!, proudly showing that SA can compete globally when it comes to producing badly made lowest common denominator aimed crap.

Taking the basic makeover teen movie formula, only applied to a nerdy guy rather than girl, Bakgat! has everything you would expect of a film aimed at 12-year-olds with limited IQs. There is the nerd who builds houses out of matchsticks, the embarrassing parents (ala Jim's dad from American Pie), the sex obsessed friends, and of course the difficult romance. Having one foot in the sports movie camp, there are also a few training montages. All of these are crudely played out with a lack of wit and energy, and there's an annoying level of prudishness which means there aren't even any funny gross-out gags either.

The acting is of the overdone pantomime style usually found in really bad comedy and most of the kids look like they're pushing 30. All it took to transform Wimpie from nerd to sportsman was to ruffle his hair and take off his glasses, but this is as much character development as Bakgat! can muster.

Bakgat! might appeal to boys between the ages of 10 and 14 with limited mental capacity, as long as they're Afrikaans and love rugby more than life. To anyone else with half a brain, it's a lazy, meritless mess that makes awful US comedies seem side-splitting in comparison. Congratulations to the filmmakers for smearing the Vodacom logo over just about everything and failing to include not even a single non-white person in the entire film (not even an extra). Maybe this was acceptable in 1987, but in 2008 it borders on criminal.

- Ivan Sadler

Get published on Channel24! Send us your movie, music and live gig reviews and columns and get published on Channel24. Send your articles to
A popular girl gets dumped by her first team rugby boyfriend and decides to get revenge by grooming the school nerd to take his place in the team.

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

2016-10-14 07:38

Uncle 2008-04-11 11:52 AM
We Must Grow Up We'll never create a genuine cultural of film and art appreciation in this country with a filmic identity that speaks to the world, if we don't grow up and stop making this mindless drivvel. Entertainment is one thing - But deliberately dumbed-down stale stereotyping is just plain moronic. Rarely do I agree with you Ivan, but I suppose they do deserve a star for actually getting the film funded and produced. Well done on the 'deursettingsvermoe'. Now we really must get rid of the (I hesitate to say) "Creative" Mafia that's funding, screening and distributing all this embarrassing nonsense.
Jaco 2008-04-16 10:10 AM
Good grief Haven't seen the movie, but even the trailer made me barf... can the Afrikaans film industry sink ANY lower? Is intelligence and wit so completely out of fashion nowadays? But to sink to the same base level as the movie, Cherie van der Merwe is quite a dish, and I do hope she has a much more substantial career ahead of her.
Hmmm... 2008-04-17 10:44 AM
YOU OBVIOUSLY HAVE NOT EVEN SEEN THE ENTIRE MOVIE HAVE YOU EVEN SEEN BAKGAT????!!!!! i DON'T THINK SO. If you want to be a movie critic, perhaps you should pay a little more ATTENTION. There's NO VODACOM SIGNAGE...and dude, don't bring up racial issues where they're really not needed. In fact, if you WATCH IT you might see the 'non-white' extras, especially perhaps the FULL-SCREEN shot of the black guy getting his hand bandaged. On the comment about Wimpie's hair getting ruffled, taking off his glasses and then being wonderfully transformed... It's unusual I know, but if it's been working for Superman for decades...who are you to criticize? Funnily enough, you mention 'prudishness with no gross-out gags' while most other critics has mentioned the lack thereof, making me wonder, yet again...have you actually watched it??!!! You should do a little research on the words 'commercial product' keeping in mind that American Pie (which you obviously also hate) has become a cult classic. All credit to a company actually taking the risk in prod
lola 2008-04-20 02:05 PM
goeie hel uhm maybe you should grow up cuz im really xcited to c it anyway i dont care what you think redneck HAHA
YTAH 2008-04-21 10:12 AM
Um... okay... "maybe you should grow up" redneck. ??? Maybe you should learn how to spell. (Or, sorry: "Lrn how2 spll.") If you're excited to see this, you deserve it.
Jo 2008-04-21 03:41 PM
My 2c worth I haven't seen this film, nor do I intend to, but apart from Ian Roberts who had I tiny role I don't recall any people of colour in Tsotsi??? Implying that the producers/directors are racist is stupid.
Ivan 2008-04-22 08:10 AM
Racist or ignorant The movie is set in Pretoria, and I know there are tons of black people living in Pretoria. I was actually shocked that the entire cast was white. Maybe it isn't deliberate racism, but if not, then it is certainly massively ignorant or at least thoughtless. As far as a commercial product goes, surely it would be better to include something to appeal to the largest market demographic in SA, and not just 10-14 yr old white male afrikaans rugby fans. That is just stupid.
TJ 2008-04-23 08:19 AM
Bakgat rocks I can't remember the last time I sat in a cinema and the whole audience where in stitches. Everyone enjoyed it! So far this has to be the best comedy of the year. You had nothing good to say about the movie, but that's okay, obviously you're more of a serious Drama kind of guy, cause you certainly don't have a sense of humour!
Anon 2008-04-23 09:02 AM
Concerned Jo, I urge you to go watch Tsotsi AGAIN...
Sharlene 2008-04-26 07:14 PM
Bakgat! Perhaps I'm sticking my neck out defending this film here, but I liked it. Yes you might go ahead and slam me for it - it won't make much of a difference to me. The film doesn't merely appeal to 10 -14 year old males, school is something we all can relate to.I'm not a 10 -14 year old male...There are many things in Bakgat! that remind me of my own school days, but I was in an Afrikaans school, slightly rugby driven. It's light comedy, heartless fun. It never set out to be entirely original and was promoted as an Afrikaans version of American Pie /She's all that.
Vrystaat 2008-04-27 01:58 AM
bakgat you guys if you cant say someting good about someting just shut your mouth....its preettyy good i had a blast watching those of you who didnt watch it yet do your self a fav and go watch oukies every thing cant alwas be you have your black movies and we have our white movie..nobody forces you to go and watch i said if you cant say any thing good just do us a fav and shut up..thax SkER hehe
YTAH 2008-04-29 08:02 AM
This movie... did not try to be original, and by god did it succeed.
Wouter 2008-05-06 10:22 PM
Brilliant I really enjoyd the film, Ivan sorry man but it looks like you are out numbered. I also think the film appealed to more than just 10 year olds with limited mentality's and i resent you for saying that, myself and some fellow final year Engineering students found it to be an exiting and nostalgic experience, taking us back to our school days.
Anon 2008-05-11 10:59 AM
Awesome All of my friends enjoyed this movie, its a huge turn from the usual leon schuster afrikaans humour crap that south africa is ALWAYS reproducing. It was HILARIOUS at times, and sad at others, and what was really awesome was the fact that it was shot in Pretoria.
Anon 2008-05-11 11:10 AM
RACISM??? I'm sorry to be so blunt here, but when have you seen a group of white afrikaans rugby school boys having black friends? Its not very common, and hopefully in time it will happen. Im not saying being racist at all, im being realistic. From what Ive seen in my school career and with my friends is that different races are friendly with each other, they enjoy each others company, but they would not go as far as being a best friend with someone of the opposite race. YES IT DOES HAPPEN SOMETIMES!! but to put non-white people in a afrikaans based school setting, where the general mood and humour is that of 'boere afrikaans', just for the sake of being racially fair is bullshit. Would you have made the guy in tsotsi have a white female girlfriend, or perhaps a white friend. I think not.
YTAH 2008-05-12 12:15 PM
...So basically what you're saying Anon, is that because the character are white, they wouldn't have black friends? And that therefore all the black people would suddenly disappear from the face of the earth, never to appear? So that would explain why there are no black kids at the school, or in the street, or at the rugby match. Or is it because they were afraid to show a black kid playing better rugby than a whitey? Just asking...
Anon 2008-05-16 09:06 PM
... They shot the movie with extras FROM the school... the shots at loftus were shot on a random day AND as i recall, hoerskool waterkloof, or hoerskool eldoraigne has a total of... wait for it... zero first team rugby players that happen to be black.
Bakgat hater 2008-05-17 05:31 PM
Sheer Shite Bakgat merely provides insight into the stupid (I regard the ‘stupid’ as tautology upon considering that the cast is Afrikaans), sad, rather pathetic lives of a rugby-obsessed, incompetent cast who deserve no less than expulsion to the depths of hell for possessing no acting skills whatsoever; lest we forget the film-makers, who should be banished eternally to a place far worse than hell (a place so awful even my enormous vocabulary and incredible intellect cannot describe) for this production – which is, in my eyes: a violation of what a film is meant to be; a travesty, mockery, and overall blemish on the concept of a film. bakgat, the movie being lauded by the imbeciles who've posted above mine, does indeed deserve less than the single star given in this review. I will disagree with the writer Ivan Sadler on that issue alone. If it were me, i would have begged the editors to allow a rating as far into the negative as possible.
AtraBilious 2008-05-20 04:34 PM
Re: Anon So, in that case, congratulations to the Bakgat! team for their verisimilitude. And thank God that Apartheid is alive and well, otherwise a black kid might accidentally have some reason to see this awful, awful movie.
knormoer 2008-06-17 10:19 AM
cool Maybe I'm a mental retard then, coz I rather enjoyed the movie. As for 'Why no blacks?' What the hell! I'm sick and tired of such mindset. Grow up. When theres only blacks in a movie, nobody complain. And no. I am no racist.

Recent Reviews

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

2016-10-14 07:38

Just another typical Tom Cruise action film, with nothing to get too excited about. The film is loaded with action-film stereotypes and cheesy one-liners. Read More »
Add your review

Hands of Stone

2016-10-14 07:38

Hands of Stone is a bland, unlikable portrayal of a real-life boxer that struggles to hit the highs of Rocky IV let alone Raging Bull or the original Rocky. Mark this one down as “for boxing fanatics only”. Read More »
Add your review

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.