‘The Gods Must Be Crazy’ Movie Summaries
South African director Jamie Uys caught lightning in a bottle with The Gods Must Be Crazy–a Coke bottle, to be specific. This slaphappy collection of goofy pratfalls and culture-clash gags became an enormous international smash, and made a sort of star out of the Bushman selected to play the central role, the completely ingratiating N!Xau. He plays a man, unaware of white culture, who finds a Coca-Cola bottle in the Kalahari (dropped by a passing pilot) and promptly has his life turned around by this mystical object. The movie looks slipshod and even amateurish at times, yet its attitude is so bubbly it’s hard to resist. Proving that physical comedy remains a true international language, millions of moviegoers around the world drank it up.
The Gods Must Be Crazy II (1989) returns N!Xau to the bizarre world of the white man, this time in a slicker plot (and a with a bigger budget) that, perhaps predictably, yields fewer real belly laughs than the first time around. Director Jamie Uys sticks to his cherished notions that tribesmen are wiser than civilized people, and that fast-motion comedy is inherently funny. The storyline begins with N!Xau’s innocent Bushman searching for his lost children; he then gets sidetracked by subplots. The humor is basic, but in best silent-movie tradition Uys prepares his set-pieces with elaborate care, and he understands the value of the long-delayed pay-off. –Robert Horton
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