Directed by: Johan Nijenhuis, Dennis Bots | 85 minutes | adventure, family | Actors: Nicolette van Dam, Vivienne van den Assem, Patrick Martens, Monique van der Werff, Juliette van Ardenne, Jon Karthaus, Ewout Genemans, Sander Jan Klerk, Sabine Koning, Raymi Sambo, Sylvana Simons
This new film by Johan Nijenhuis, “Zoop in Africa”, is based on the children’s soap ZOOP of the same name, which can be seen on Nickelodeon. (for children aged 8 to 16 years) Based is to say the least, because the film is almost impossible to understand without prior knowledge of the series. It remains unclear throughout the film what “rangers” actually are and what they do. The mutual relationships are also a mystery at the beginning, so the viewer falls from one surprise to the other when it turns out that there are all couples. Of course, different types immediately stand out, a kind of punk girl, a nerd, a barbie, but their characters remain mainly superficial. You probably need to know the series for that.
At the beginning of Zoop in Africa, the two leaders of the rangers, also present in the series, are on the scene. These are Sabine Koning (GTST) (Gaby) and Raymi Sambo (Berenger). The first is unconvincing and mumbles everything as if she is still playing in Goede Tijden. She must have thought of a soap, of course. Raymi Sambo is a welcome change, because he can act. Unfortunately, there is not such a big role for him.
Another supporting role is for Sylvana Simons (Safira). Why she and her organization are bad exactly will only become clear towards the end. Why on earth they participate in a rangers exchange project remains a mystery, because cooperation can simply be refused. Simons adds little to the film, is convincing at times, and mainly raises the question: When do we start looking at houses?
A nice supporting role is reserved for an entire African tribe where the rangers come to visit unexpectedly. Unfortunately, they do not stay long, because one of them is in danger of being married off.
Than the rangers themselves. Elise (Vivienne van den Assem) has quite a few problems, but it is not known exactly which one and how she got it. Vivienne, however, is one of the better actresses, so her role remains fun. Taffie the punk (Monique van der Werff) also has a large share in the film and that is positive. Bionda (Nicolette van Dam) is the barbie of the couple, overdone, in appearance, but certainly in acting. Even Barbie, if the plane threatens to crash, wouldn’t risk her life and that of others for a bag of shoes. Furthermore, it remains incomprehensible why such a doll is actually with the rangers. The others, Mike (Patrick Martens), Sira (Juliette van Ardenne), Moest (Jon Karthaus), Bastiaan (Ewout Genemans) and Aaron (Sander-Jan Klerk) are nice, but don’t really stand out.
Although for the elderly this film can sometimes be a bit childish, children up to the age of 14 will be happy with it. Provided, of course, they are familiar with the series. The title song is in the style of K3, so will undoubtedly be big among kids. Yet “ZOOP in Africa” remains nothing more than a very long episode of ZOOP.
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