While Wild Men does have some inventive comedic moments and a very strong lead performance from Bjerg, the film ultimately has very little to say about its own subject.
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The filmmaker confidently guides us to a conclusion that really isn’t a conclusion at all but a new beginning. These men may not be all that wild, but Daneskov’s film is just loopy and daring enough to qualify as such in the best way possible.
There are some very funny scenes and a reasonably tense shootout finale – though the sentimental ending felt to me like a bit of a cop-out.
The wonderful thing about Wild Men, a movie that suggests a dream-team collaboration of Hal Hartley and the Coen Brothers, is that everyone involved takes themselves extremely seriously, even as they behave and speak in ways that cause viewers who get the joke to smile, chuckle and occasionally laugh out loud.
There's never a singular direction for the film and its sub-plots, but instead it's as if Daneskov strikes for a central mood, then lets each element wander a little away from it: not far enough to be disruptive, but never quite cohesive. Like the misguided men it follows, its charm is in its disorder.
Bjerg’s central performance is a lumbering delight and Youssef’s comparatively straight-man routine makes one pine for a spin-off sitcom.
Bolstered by tone-perfect performances from all three of the leads, and a script that hides larger themes within the body of the narrative like vegetables in mashed potatoes, Wild Men hits with the force and precision of an arrow fired from Martin’s homemade bow. And while the tone of the film toys with the absurd, what it has to say about masculinity, regret, and what it means to belong is anything but.
What makes this amiably amusing Danish comedy work is the fact that it takes its hapless protagonist almost as seriously as he takes himself.