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Review: Wonderbroeders (2014)

Director: | 88 minutes | | Actors: , , , , , , , , ,

Six brothers live in the monastery of Wanroij. Brother Salomon soon passes away, but the Order of Wanroij has too little money in its pocket to make his last wish come true. Since he cannot be buried in his African homeland, it becomes the monastery cemetery. While they are busy with the ceremony, the gentlemen see from the corner of their eye a bunch of contractors in their yard.

It turns out that the monastery has to make way for a wellness center. When the monks talk to the arrogant project developer (Eva Duijvestein), she tells them that their boss, Bishop Heijntjes (Bert Luppes), really agreed. In fact, three registered letters have been delivered to them, so they should have known. Let the addressee be Abbot Paulus van Liersen (Kees Hulst)… That shouldn’t be a problem, but Paulus is demented. Bishop Heijntjes stands firm, but if the brothers could afford the amount needed to keep the monastery running, well, it might be possible to talk about it. But how do the poor servants of God collect eight thousand dollars a month? It takes nothing less than a miracle. And anyone who has paid close attention can already see from the title of the that that is exactly what is happening …

“Wonder Brothers” has been marketed as a comedy along the lines of “The Marathon”. It actually tells the same story, but place of and characters have been exchanged. But you can reapply a success formula, but don’t expect a similar result.

“Wonder Brothers” is in many ways less successful than the favorite “The Marathon”, embraced by both critics and public. The film looks absolutely neat, the location is atmospheric, and the actors are certainly not bad, but the predictable screenplay by Martin van Waardenberg (who plays Brother Dominicus) offers too little depth for their characters. In addition to being religious, they are also absurdly gullible, which makes the part of the plot about sister Jessica (Noortje Herlaar in her feature debut) unbelievable.

In addition, the humor is at best good for a smile. Laughing out loud is usually not an option, although Ton Kas gives enough incentive for this (very nice, for example, is the scene in which they shut out Paul with dementia by talking about him in English). But then again there are plenty of cringe-worthy scenes (the invalid man who can suddenly walk, Paul peeing in the bushes in front of hundreds of miracle visitors, the stripping Jessica who is spied on by Brother Lucas (Egbert-Jan Weeber)) . Not to mention the childishly simple way in which Heijntjes finally gets down. Despite the fact that ‘Wonder Brothers’ is rated for all ages, it is better because of this scene not to see the film with too young viewers, because it is rather difficult to explain what exactly is going on with that nasty bishop on the hand.

“Wonder Brothers” is somewhere between a failure and a successful project. With not too high expectations, the film is still quite an entertaining pastime, but it is certainly not sparkling or memorable.

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