By James Davidson
“Get Duked!” is a dark comedy that premiered on Amazon video on August 28th of 2020. It is available to stream for free with anyone with an Amazon Prime account. It follows four Scottish youths, Ian (Samuel Bottomley), DJ Beatroot (Viraj Juneja), Dean (Rian Gordon), and Duncan (Lewis Gribben) as they are forced to complete the Duke of Edinburgh award. The Duke of Edinburgh is an award that Scottish youths compete for that is similar to the Eagle Scout award here in the U.S. The youths must traverse the Scottish highlands and show that they can work as a team, as well as use wilderness survival skills such as reading a map and foraging for food. These four city dwelling youths in particular are forced to participate in the award as punishment for getting in trouble at school. The youths quickly realize that this is not as straightforward as it seems as they are chased by a murderous couple intent on killing the group. Not only are the urban young adults out of their element in the highlands, they must also survive a murderous group chasing them down.
When I first saw the trailer for this film, I was immediately drawn in by the humor and premise of the movie. I thought it looked hilarious and was expecting a decent plot with a lot of dark comedy and suspense thrown in. I wasn’t too disappointed with the result, although I do think it could have been a bit better.
The comedy is the star of the show as most of the jokes had my wife and I laughing throughout the entire movie and enjoying ourselves thoroughly. Most of the comedy is situational, focusing on the fact that all of these teens are from the city and are totally out of their element in the farm country of the highlands. Watching the group attempt to read maps and prepare food was quite amusing. A lot of the humor can get quite crass and there are a few jokes about drug use. There is also a lot of dark comedy, there are a lot of amusing situations created from the fact that the teens are in mortal danger. If any of that type of humor isn’t your cup of tea, you probably won’t enjoy this movie too much. There are also a lot of jokes centering on the small, bumbling, police force in the highlands, as they focus on a dastardly bread thief instead of all of the attempted murders in the area.
I found the plot to be a bit of a slow starter, even the comedy took a while to get warmed up. The first act of the movie was a bit slow, and I was worried that the entire film was going to be a bust. However, the movie really took off in the second and third acts and redeemed itself into being a very funny enjoyable story.
As I mentioned earlier, some of the funniest parts of the movie were about the small police department. The two main officers, Sergeant Morag (Kate Dickie), and PC Hamish (Kevin Guthrie) were hilarious. I enjoyed watching the two of them interact and attempt to chase down the bread thief. Kate Dickie and Kevin Guthrie did a great job portraying overzealous police officers, who didn’t have a lot of experience, or a lot to do in general. I thought it was hilarious that they thought the worst part of all of this was not only the bread thief, but that hip-hop was invading the highlands. They were convinced that they were on the lookout for a gang of hip-hop bread stealers.
This movie is rated R for drug content, language throughout, including sexual references, and some violence/bloody images. A lot of the humor is very crass and there are several hip-hop scenes by DJ Beatroot, that while funny, used a lot of course language that could be offensive to some. If you don’t enjoy dark, somewhat offensive humor, I don’t suggest this film for you. It definitely is not family appropriate either.
“Get Duked!” is a hilariously funny movie, although it takes a while to get started. The story is well written although I would have liked to have seen some of the plot explained a little better. It has some very funny characters and is overall a very enjoyable movie to watch with friends or your significant other. While some of the humor is dark and crass, I would definitely suggest this movie for fans of dark comedies. It earns 3.5 out of 5 stars