Review: AT WORLD’S END

This ridiculously fun adventure flick that combines 1980s style comedy-adventure film a la Romancing The Stone with the mannered deadpan sensibility of Danish comedy. That At World’s End is a Anders Thomas Jensen screenplay is immediately obvious despite the grenades-and-jungle clothing. Shot all over the world, from Copenhagen to Jakharta to Sydney, it is an enthusiastic reminder of why we (I say that as those who grew up in the eighties era of Lucasfilm and Golan-Globus) loved these films, but with more than a few surprises in where it goes and how the story plays out. Deep in the Sumatra jungles, there is a rare flower that (legend has it) provides eternal life for those who consume the pedals on a regular basis. The living proof of the legend is Severin, a European man born in the 19th century (making him 129 years old) living in jungle-isolation with Hedvig (his name for the plant) until a team of BBC documentarians accidently discover the prized possession. Severin is perhaps a bit over-enthusiastic in defending the source of his immortality, and it is not long before there is an international incident between the local government and the Danish consulate. Enter Adrian, (Nicholaj Lie Kaas here a bundle of anxieties and nervous tics) a meek psychologist in mid-career crisis and a closet smoker who was just informed that his mother is dying of lung cancer (a taste of the films humour), is volun-told by his boss to go (along with his pretty, blonde secretary, Beate) down to Jakharta to assess the Severin’s sanity, declare Severin mentally unstable and get the loopy possible citizen (the jungle-man is bearing a 1906 Danish passport) shipped out and away from further bad press. Meanwhile, the local authorities are hell-bent on getting their hands on this miracle-plant.

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