Review: De Wilde Bende-Die Wilden Kerle – Everything is gut, solange du wild bist! (2003)

De Wilde Bende-Die Wilden Kerle – Everything is gut, solange du wild bist! (2003)

Directed by: Joachim Masannek | 96 minutes | adventure, family | Actors: Jimi Blue Ochsenknecht, Wilson Gonzalez Ochsenknecht, Constantin Gastmann, Raban Bieling, Marlon Wessel, Jonathan Beck, Kevin Ianotta, Sarah Kim Gries, Filippo Dattola, Leon Wessel-Masannek, Florian Heppert, Nicolas Michalczewski, Tayfun Mentes, Gerald Gössner, Mirko Satorius, Sascha Denis Hensel, Rufus Beck, Cornelia Froboess, Uwe Ochsenknecht, Pippi Söllner, Judith Al Bakri, Tim Wilde, Natascha Ochsenknecht, Adnan Maral, Sarah Beck, Klára Hermánková, Iveta Benicová | Dutch voice cast: Martijn Canters, Jimmy Lange, Priscilla Kneteman, Bart Fennis, Jacob de Groot, Titus Laeven, Gijs Blom, Kas Westerbeek, Victor Peeters, Alexander Blomjous, Daan Loenen, Luke de Bruijn, Hajo Bruins, Lucie de Lange, Jon van eerd, Tony Neef, Pip Pellens, Simone Giel, Melody Reekers, Lasca ten Kate, Marty de Bruijn, Leon Wiedijk, Barry Worsteling, Karin van As, Bart Bosch, Jonas Leopold, Jeffrey van den Dungen Bille, Mitchell van den Dungen Bille, Phillip Christian Shmølker Hornehoj, French Limburg

This is really a boy movie about being cool. Cursed abominations! How wild those rascals of ‘De Wilde Bende’ are. They just want to play football and their parents have nothing to say about it. ‘De Wilde Bende’ or ‘Die Wilden Kerle’ (2003) is based on the German children’s books by Joachim Masannek. The film is therefore synchronized (spoken in Dutch) which is easy to see, but the target group (children up to ten years) will probably not be bothered by it.

Director Masannek drew on his experiences as a trainer of the E-youth football team at TSV München-Grünwald for the stories. A group of German ten-year-olds who all wanted to be just like the boys from Bayern Munich. So black shirts were provided and the team chose the name ‘De Wilde Bende’ itself. Who make up ‘De Wilde Gang’? Leader Leon knows no fear, he looks like a German Olivier Tuinier from ‘Het Zakmes’ (1992). Marlon is his brother and he prefers to stay in the background. Fabian is Leon’s good-humoured best friend. Raban is the boy with the irresistible snout and jam jar glasses. You can recognize Joeri by his sports cap and summer freckles. Max is always silent, but shoots harder than anyone else. Josje is the youngest, small but mobile. Later, the orphans Jojo and Marc, the best goalkeeper in the world, jump in. Vanessa is also allowed to join the gang after having proven herself in a penalty kick tournament. The average age of the gang is nine years. Their trainer is lemonade seller Willie, who was once a professional football player. That’s a good thing because ‘De Wilde Bende’ has to compete against the Invincible Winners of fat Michiel. That the gang members are called Zeis, Kraker, Vetoog, Combine Harvester, Steamroller and Kong says enough. The average age of the gang is thirteen years old. The Wilde Gang has almost no chance, but the Duivelspot (soccer field) is their life. They must win!

But before the match, Michiel and his nannies attack De Wilde Bende on Camelot, the three-storey tree house in the garden of Joeri and Josje. Not all real Wild Gang members play themselves in the movie, because those kids didn’t want to or couldn’t really act. Some of the actors are real members. The sons of director Masannek (the real Leon and Marlon), here play Marc from the orphanage and silent Max. The real Jojo also plays Joeri here, this boy is also the son of the actor who plays Willie. Here and there even more family plays together in this film. Raban is the only one who plays himself and you can really laugh about this funny guy. He especially uses those strange expressions of ‘De Wilde Bende’ such as “fat rhinoceros turd” and “hotemetotes nightmare”. All the children were helped with acting by children’s coach Adnan Maral, he also plays the fruit seller. The film also includes many fun songs.

‘De Wilde Bende’ is a real boy’s film, but if as a girl you also like tree houses, mud, football, mountain biking, then this film is also for you. As long as you’re wild, right?

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