Karate Kallie

2009-09-18 11:34
 
Karate Kallie

What it's about:

Based on the short films shown on M-Net, we are now exposed to the full-length feature about Kallie (Wynand van Vollenstee), an obese high schooler, who is bullied by Frits (Petrus Harmse), a boy half his size. Kallie is in love with Frits’ sister, and turns to his flatulent friend, Airhole (Solomon Cupido), and criminal tow truck driving brother, Mike (Mike Smuts), for help in winning her over. The results are cheap and tedious.

What we thought:

It’s a great year for South African film with Neill Blomkamp’s fantastic District 9 scoring with the critics and at the box office worldwide. On the opposite end of the cinematic spectrum is Karate Kallie, a film that would drain the most forgiving viewer of any newfound respect for this country faster than the rotund hero drains his milkshakes. Thankfully, not that many people outside our borders will be exposed to this mess, so the word shouldn’t spread very far.

Karate Kallie is just an extended short film, and it shows. It is mind-bogglingly cheap –the sound design is infuriating, with many outdoor scenes having no background noise at all except when a character speaks, when we suddenly hear wind, cars, distant conversation etc. This gives the impression that the cinema sound system is broken. Shot on video, it has the oversaturated look of a bad TV ad.

Come to think of it, it also boasts the type of dialogue you get in ads featuring a particular Afrikaans stereotype – the rugby fan with the boep, the bakkie, and the drinking problem. That kind of joke works in a 30 second advert, but stretched over 90 minutes, it becomes butt-achingly boring.

Much of the intended humour is meant to come from just watching fat, stupid, unlikable people doing dumb, facile things. Do you want to see a blubbery, shirtless doofus practise fake martial arts in his garden? Check. Do you want to see a borderline obese loser forced to run laps by a sadistic sports coach? Check. Do you want to see a fat guy fart and burst his inflatable mattress? Check. Do you want to see a drunken oaf mistakenly dance with a transvestite and then act horrified when he finds out? Check.

If the above sounds funny to you, I guarantee you’ve seen your friends do similar, but funnier, impressions at the bar, and those are free and usually don’t take an entire evening.

I cannot find a single good thing to say about this movie. It’s cheap, badly made, poorly written, and it can’t even get a fart joke right. On top of that, it’s mostly based on the assumption that watching fat people live their day–to-day lives is funny. News flash – it’s not, even if they’re dim-witted and look at least 30 years old when they’re supposed to be in Matric.

Karate Kallie is lazy, soulless, crass filmmaking, and is wholly unrepresentative of South Africa and its talents. But, this type of humiliating humour has proved to be successful in SA (look no further than the phenomenon that is Leon Schuster), so, as galling as this thought is, there is a market for it. Subject yourself to it at your peril.


Local isn’t so lekker in this no budget movie about a fat guy out to build his self-esteem.

YTAH 2009/09/18 12:06 PM
Worse than Bakgat, or not? At least this one had ONE non-white actor in a main role, even if that role was condescending and stereotypical. Also, why is every gay character in SA movies a flamer?
Alan 2009/09/18 1:56 PM
Good to know. Mind you, I feel it needs to be said that Leon Schuster deserves respect for being good at what he does. He makes the low-brow humour that most South Africans want to see, transcending race and religion, and he does it just how the audience wants it.
Leon van der Linde 2009/09/21 6:53 AM
In other words, a Leon Schuster clone movie.
the movie junkie 2009/09/21 9:16 AM
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"Bakgat" was quite fun and strangely amusing, but this atrocious film is lacking in almost anything resembling wit. In fact it's "sommer a klomp kak", and it seems to drag on forever. A seriously low-point in the new tiny-budget, shot on DVD Afrikaans cinema that appears to be emerging in South Africa. Same your money and give it a skip.
grant aubin 2009/09/21 9:20 AM
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To the dude who asked whether "Karate Kallie" was worse than "Bakgat". By comparison to this pile of utter kak, the surprisingly enjoyable "Bakgat" is Oscar-worthy fare. "Karate Kallie" is a disgrace to South African cinema and maybe even the Afrikaans culture.
Susan 2009/09/21 10:57 AM
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I dont know where or who you watched the film with - but the packed cinema I was in on Friday, all laughed their heads off throughout the movie. Anyone who says its stereotypical - go to Tuine in Pretoria and tell me that it is not realistic! My friends and I loved it!! It reminds me of the type of comedy we found in Vetkoekpaleis - which is still a classic!
Ben 2009/09/21 11:45 AM
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What a disgrace, to even see this crap in the media. Reject this poor excuse for a movie. . . Nee man, wragtag dis te erg.
KKNKak 2009/09/21 11:57 AM
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Leon's candid camera film's are quite fun, it's his new ones with stories that suck, eg. Mr. Bones, Mama Jack, etc. but I still love some of the old ones like There's a Zulu on my Stoep! Not as good as Bakgat? As 'good' as Vetkoek Paleis? Sounds like I should give this a miss... P.S. White Wedding rules!
Karin 2009/09/21 12:02 PM
If the movie is anything like the one I saw on M-Net, I'm looking forward to seeing it. Really just an Afrikaans movie, with humor only us, the South African Afrikaans speaking person can understand and appreciate!
TJ 2009/09/21 1:31 PM
Jammer maar moet nie vir my sê dat net South African Afrikaans speaking person can understand and appreciate the sense of humour, van die bol stront nie. Dan moes ek liewers Engels gewees het want ek raak skaam om te sien hoe sommige Afrikaners hulle name gat maak sonder om te blik of te bloos.
The Rector of the University of Kempton Park 2009/09/21 1:35 PM
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Not even prawns would sit through this steaming pile - and, yes, they have completed a Schuster marathon complete with Silversands commercials in between. If you're this desperate for skop, skiet en donner, either wait for Ninja Assassin in Nov/Dec or go to a Julius Malema housewarming party. (More catfood please!)
Najen 2009/09/21 2:13 PM
I quite enjoyed the mnet short story. Laughed my ass off. I reckon the movie will be funny but it seems a few of the top jokes have been repeated. Shuster rocks. It's amazing that this man continues to make box office hits. He deserves a major lifetime achievement award. Are his movies critically acclaimed: Probably not. But so what. You can;t criticize Shuster and then listen to bubblegum pop and dance music. It's all entertainment.
TS 2009/09/21 3:20 PM
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If you'r going to see this movie for the karate, forget it. This is no karate flick. There's NO karate fights. This is a useless romance movie. A disgrace to South Africa, Karate Kid and obese people.
Baas Koos 2009/09/21 3:34 PM
At Ivan and the rest of the ''negative'' people. . . . if you dont have anything good to say like the rest of us.... then rather go and make your own movie . . . if not... rather keep quiet and say welldone as they have at least tried! what have you done...
SA loves cheap nasty rubbish 2009/09/21 3:41 PM
Hang on. This can't be worse than the drivvel we get on tv. Like Scandal, Mvango or what ever it is called, Rhythym City etc. And then the actors have the cheek to 'strike' over non-payment because their 'culture' is being eroded by SABC not buying new series of this rubbish. Culture se voet. Bad tv more like it. Please, if you see the total and utter cr@p that those things are you will realise there is a market for this Karate Kallie rubbish. Its like the SA producers for local tv and movies agree that 'poor ppl r stupid and must get subjected to this cr@p'. Sadly it seems to be some truth in that as this cr@p continues to get produced.
Stefan 2009/09/21 3:54 PM
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Saw the movie and it was really bad.... That is why I am not going to watch anything South African any more because most movies coming out is a lode of garbage... even Distrik 9... Bad walk out of the movie and went and watch Time Traverllers wife now that was a great movie...
MACK DIE CRITIC 2009/09/21 4:25 PM
Afrikaans is great vir movies ,oor die jare bewys ! maar ons film makers raak so swak soos ons musiekmakers - nrympie en n ghuitar maak nie n song nie ,en a camcorder maak nie n movie ,serious of snaaks,nie.Die hele ou spul is garra !
Frenchy 2009/09/21 4:38 PM
You should have known it is a joke when you saw the producer is "van der Merwe".
Frank 2009/09/21 4:45 PM
@ Karin, please don't drag ALL Afrikaans speaking people's name through the mud with that comment. This is just another stereotipical disgrace of an "Afrikaner" movie. I can't understand how people see this as funny or even slightly amusing. We made better "movies on our cellphones at varsity.
Kalahari 2009/09/21 7:05 PM
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Ivan....with words like butt-ache, facile, blubbery etc. in your kind review, it is plain to see where your problems are rooted. Your a movie critic...we get it....Those who can do, and those who can't teach....and those who can't even manage that become movie critics, bitching and moaning without the capabilities to spot a wealthy producer in a Hollywood café. In SA there is NO money for the movie industry...have you realized that? We need to support any local talent and criticise accordingly and constructively to improve and build the local movie industry...not having it shattered to pieces by mixed-bag of vegetables-critic on a power trip. We all know you are short and chubby too.
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