Based upon a Danish sitcom, Klown arrived in American theaters in 2012 and was, to put it mildly, a pretty fucked up movie. Directed by Mikkel Nørgaard and starring Casper Christensen and Frank Hvam, with all three having worked on the screenplay, Klown was an exercise in questionable taste, featuring countless scenes of hilarious raunchy humor. Now brings us the sequel, Klown Forever, which brings back all of its principal talent back for another round of raunchy escapades, only this time the results are fairly diminished. Though Klown Forever does have its moments that are genuinely funny, it lacks the same commitment to questionable taste as its predecessor and the result is a fairly disappointing comedy sequel that feels restrained when compared to its forbearer.
In the five years since the debauched events of Klown, Frank (Hvam) has settled into a domestic life with his wife Mia (Mia Lyhne) and their two children. In a collaboration with Caspar (Christensen), the two plan to release a new book detailing the trials and tribulations of their friendship. However, Caspar feels a dissatisfaction with his life in Denmark and moves with little notice to Los Angeles. Missing his dear friend, Frank is motivated to go on an impromptu trip to Los Angeles to try and convince his friend to return to their native land. But Casper has settled in nicely with his grown daughter Cille (Simone Colling) in his posh new home in the Hollywood Hills, going as far to arrange a massive party to celebrate his arrival in the United States.
One thing that holds back Klown Forever in relations to its predecessor is the fact that its storyline is much more complicated. In the first film, Frank and Casper are on a canoe trip that will culminate in a trip to a rare brother, with Frank complicating matters by taking along a young boy to prove to Mia that he is capable of being a father. Klown Forever has too many moving parts in the friendship between Frank and Casper, the former being somewhat jealous of Casper’s friendship with Battle Cat (JR Reed) which never coalesces into much of a comedic through-line. It all comes down to a form of jealousy that leads to one monumentally bad decision, but one that never reaches the grotesque humor of the first film. In fact, it leads to situations that are more problematic than humorous.
Following Casper’s big party, which even features an appearance by Adam Levine, Frank has sex with Cille, and that is later discovered by a furious Casper. That leads to Casper to propose a solution back in Demark where Frank will convince his wife to engage in blindfolded sex with Frank, but with Casper entering the room and having sex with Mia. This is intended to be a ghastly comedic moment, one of horrific judgement, but it really comes across in simply the wrong kind of gross.
Then there’s the woefully outdated scene in South Central Los Angeles (which hasn’t been called South Central for over a decade) where Casper and Frank return to the homes of two black women. As things slowly get sexual, Frank ruins the mood with a disgusting mix-up that leads the two being ejected from the house. But they’re not just ejected, they’re chased by swarms of inner-city gang members; it’s a scene that last would’ve worked in the mid-‘90s. But this isn’t the mid-‘90s, and this scene feels like a form of antiquated casual racism that could’ve been avoided with just a modicum of research into the region.
For all of the moments that don’t work as well or are flat-out wrong, there are still plenty of outlandish moments of raunchy humor that work in Klown Forever. There is just something about this hapless duo of Frank and Casper that is undeniably charming even when they engage in the most awful behavior. Yet with all the laughs Klown Forever can garner, they are just a fraction of the laughs that its predecessor could earn. Like the first film, Klown Forever is a brand of comedy that isn’t geared for the squeamish, featuring an assortment of explicit scenarios that push the limits of good taste. But if there’s one moment that really illustrates the difference between the two movies it’s the conclusion of each film. Klown ended with a shocking moment that was truly hilarious, a coda that brought all the secrets of the film’s story out into the open with jaw-dropping results. Klown Forever ends with a mild little coda that at most brings a slight chuckle. It’s funny, but we know they can do much better…or worse, depending on your perspective.
A sequel to the raunchy Danish comedy Klown, Klown Forever has plenty of laughs rooted in questionable taste yet lacks the same commitment to shock as its predecessor.